Updated: Nov 15, 2021
✦ How to help change the face of men's health? The answers are right under your nose.
What do Merv “The Swerve” Hughes, Magnum PI and Salvador Dali all have in common?
Tom Selleck At Film Premiere of Monte Walsh
BURBANK, CA - JANUARY 8: Actor Tom Selleck attends the premiere of the TNT television movie "Monte Walsh" on January 8, 2003 at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.
(Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Not only are all regarded as legendary entertainers in their respective fields but all sported some of the finest and most celebrated moustaches of all time!
There are many more, of course: Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Burt Reynolds, Sam Elliott, Groucho Marx are just a handful who are renowned for their trademark upper lip facial hair.
The moustache, or ‘Mo’ to use the parlance of our times, has led a varied life - mocked and derided in certain quarters over the years yet thankfully, almost in a comforting way, always there with selected style makers and trend setters.
In recent years, the Mo has taken on important symbolic significance in raising awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. November was chosen as the month and, when fused with the shortened version of moustache (Mo), resulted in Movember, an annual event with the goal of changing the face of men’s health.
The movement initially started back in 1999 in Adelaide when a group of mates casually came together over a few beers with the idea of growing their moustaches throughout the month of November all in the name of charity and raising funds and awareness of men’s health.
Their efforts were enthusiastically received as the trend spread across the country, prompting a group in Melbourne to ultimately form the Movember Foundation which was in time granted official charity status in Australia.
In subsequent years the movement spread worldwide and became a cultural phenomenon, with over 6.5 million participants raising over US$1 billion and funding more than 1,250 men’s health projects across more than 20 countries.
Over the years the Foundation has forged several key partnerships with the likes of US-based Prostate Cancer Foundation, Prostate Cancer Canada, the UK’s The Prostate Cancer Charity, Spain’s FEFOC, the Irish Cancer Society, the Cancer Society of New Zealand, the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, the LIVESTRONG Foundation, and South African-based CANSA.
Funds raised by the Foundation have contributed significantly to pioneering research in the ongoing battle to understand and hopefully find a cure for many of the illnesses that claim so many lives every year around the world. In 2009, for example, the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center made a significant research breakthrough identifying that there are 25+ different kinds of prostate cancer.
Two years later, thanks to Movember funding, the world’s first Prostate Cancer Genome Mapping Project was completed, expanding the understanding of how prostate cancer works.
By 2017 the Movember Foundation was ranked 49 out of the top 500 non-governmental-organisations around the world and in 2019 Movember was announced as the official delivery partner for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (postponed until 2022) - the first ever international sporting event to have a mental health charter.