Movember starts today, meaning there will be bad moustaches grown galore for an entire month in aid of raising money for, and awareness of, prostate and testicular cancer.
This morning I realised that I didn’t know how on earth it started, and randomly found myself looking it up on Google – though in doing so I found some impressive facts and figures.
It all started in 2003 in a bar in Melbourne, Australia, where two friends were discussing fashion trends and decided that it was about time the moustache made a comeback. They subsequently persuaded 30 friends to grow a “mo” for charity at 10 dollars a go. Unfortunately, they didn’t raise much more than that, but they persevered with the concept, and raised an impressive A$54,000 (£32,000) for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia the following year.
The idea soon spread, and today Movember operates in 21 countries, generating £27 million in the UK and more than £92 million around the globe last year. In total, £300 million has been raised for research into prostate and testicular cancer since that day in the Melbourne pub.
Why is it so successful? Justin Coghlan , Movember’s founders, puts it down to the male urge to bond and one of my least favourite words that I am reluctant to type, banter.
Justin says “It’s a fun thing to do with your friends and it sparks conversations with complete strangers too. It’s all about guys coming together, but for a serious reason.”
Personally, I don’t like the moustaches and random (often patchy) facial hair growth of Movember (and I do have my suspicions that some people do it for a “laugh” rather than it’s intended purpose which renders their efforts fairly pointless), but the concept works and it’s all in aid of a brilliant cause so I will definitely do my bit and donate!