by Ryan VanDenBoom
Grow a mo’, save a bro. You’ve probably seen the ads on the subway or maybe they’ve popped up on social media here or there, but that is the tag line for Movember, an organization that has set out to change the face of men’s health. For someone like me, who will gladly sport a mustache just for the humor of it, it’s no surprise that I’ve taken to this campaign. Always trying to follow in the footsteps of mustached men, including my own father - Next to maybe Burt Reynolds, King of the Mustache.
I had been made aware of the Movember campaign probably four or five years ago and yet I hadn’t gotten involved until recently. The month-long charity event (which involves growing a mustache during the month of November) aims to to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and depression. Participants are encouraged to grow and/or rock a mustache during the month of November, and through the Movember website/app, accept donations to the organization to continue their work helping men get access to proper health care.
In the past year, there have been many instances coming to light in which the behavior of the men in our country is being brought to task - and rightfully so. With developments in the #metoo movement and the seemingly countless episodes of gun violence plaguing our country (most often times at the hands of men), I’ve become increasingly concerned about the long standing definitions of masculinity. I’d like to work to rewrite those statutes and teach young men that there is great power in vulnerability and communication. That asking for help and being vigilant about one’s mental health is not a sign of weakness, but of great strength. Movember is a great platform to get these conversations going and bring visibility to the world of men’s health.
I’m always proud to rock the mustache because it makes me laugh at my own face, but now it’s taken on a whole new meaning. When someone asks me, “So…what’s with the mustache?” I respond by saying that I’m raising awareness for men’s health. Let’s keep that engagement going. If you’d like to help check out my fundraising campaign.