Loathe them or lick them, the moustache is a fashion icon.
Be it the red marshmallow that has become Lanny McDonald’s trademark, the soup strainer that blew in the breeze as Magnum PI cruised the roads of Oahu, or the pencil-line lip tickler that Clark Gable wooed starlets with, it is here to stay. A new generation struggling to patch together any facial hair at all also cling to this pattern of facial hair to assert their individuality, even if it is in an ironic way. There has been no better reason to embrace the moustache, because in November it is the symbol of a good cause.
The male staff at St. Anthony’s School are celebrating Movember. The month is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer. The premise is simple: the participants were clean-shaven as of November 1, and over the following month they let it all grow out.
Teacher Grant Gay, who is spearheading the St. Anthony’s Movember team, said it is as much about raising awareness as it is about raising funds.
“The idea is when someone says ‘Hey, what is that thing growing on your lip?’ you can tell them it is for prostate cancer research because guys have a tendency not to go to doctors,” he said.
The Movember movement started in Australia and has spread wildfire around the world.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men, and one in six men will be diagnosed in his lifetime. Of the 24,600 men in Canada who will be diagnosed this year, over 4,300 men will die of the disease. The good news is that 90 per cent of prostate cancer cases are curable if detected and treated in the early stages. The bad news is that 50 per cent of men do not book an annual doctor’s appointment.
This is Gay’s first time participating in the campaign, has been able to enlist all the male staff as Mo Bros, as well as a few Mo Sistas to support them along the way. A few students are also working at growing out their peach fuzz in participation.
One standout may be Grade 5 teacher Bill Judge. It has been 27 years since anyone has seen his upper lip.
“I thought it would be fun, everyone’s doing it and it is a good cause,” said Judge.
Last year the event raised $7.8 Million for Prostate Cancer Canada to fund programs related to awareness, education and support for those affected by prostate cancer, as well as research into prevention, detection and treatment of prostate cancer.
To support the Mo Bros of St. Anthony’s go to http://ca.movember.com/donate/ and search out the St. Anthony’s team, or give a pledge to your favourite Mo Bro and watch the facial hair grow.
After all, without the moustache, Smokey or the Bandit wouldn’t have been the same, Frank Zappa’s stash wouldn’t have its own Facebook page, Brandon Flowers’ western tie would have looked even more out of place, and how would the Hulkster hide his jowls?
A world with a moustache is helping men take more control over their health.