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Illustration by Brennan Bova

IT’S HALFWAY THROUGH Movember 2011 and it appears more men than ever are choosing to join the worldwide movement, yet many participants remain surprisingly uninformed about the campaign. This week, the Fulcrum caught up with Jesse Hayman, Movember Canada’s community development manager, for answers to some common questions about the campaign.

The Fulcrum: What’s the original Movember story? How was it born and who came up with the idea?

Jesse Hayman: A couple of guys were sitting around a table in Melbourne, Australia in 2003, just chat- ting about ‘70s fashion and things that have gone out of style and not come back in … It happened to be November, and mo is moustache in Australia, so natu- rally they made Movember, and they grew moustaches that month. A year came around and they were going to do it again, but a lot of people didn’t really love their moustaches, so they decided they needed to put a legitimate cause behind it. That’s when they thought, ‘Well, the moustache is the ultimate symbol of manliness, so let’s do something for men’s health.’ They looked at what the most pressing cause was and that was prostate cancer.

The Movember campaign has devel- oped hugely since its initial birth in 2003 and the establishment of Movember Canada in 2007. What factors do you attribute to this rapid growth?

It’s fun and fun breeds participation. Men worldwide … have the same sort of attitude as Canadians, which is: Who doesn’t want to know what they look like with a moustache? It’s just not [nor- mally]sociallyaccepted,sonowthey’ve got a reason to give it a shot.

A lot of men seem to be growing moustaches that aren’t raising or donating any money to prostate cancer research. Does simply growing facial hair further the Movember campaign?

If people are growing a moustache, registering at, and know the reason why they’re growing it, that’s fantastic. They’re a walking, talking bill- board for men’s health when they have that moustache on … So while the do-
nations and funds raised are amazing, our number one thing is just to get men talking.

There has been discussion that Movember for men is partly a response to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October for women. Is there some truth to that?

The women’s health movement is inspiring. They’re so far ahead of the men. Probably eight years ago there wouldn’t have been women talking about breast cancer and health like they are now, so the strides they’ve made in a short amount of time is pretty amazing.

Just like women were a little [while] ago, men do not talk about their health and do not share with other men. So, if we can do what the women’s health movement[hasdone]forbreastcancer for prostate cancer—and, [in] general, men’s health—then we’re doing well.

It’s now two weeks into November, is it too late for people to start growing mustaches and start raising funds? The rules are: You shave Nov. 1st, and you grow and groom your moustache for the rest of the month. It’s not too late. You can still register at Movem-, join in the fun, start growing your moustache, and talk about men’s health.

—Keeton Wilcock