Opinions

Illustration by Tina Wallace

Two students sound off on the facial hair-focused campaign

It’s time for men to throw out their
razors and women to start constructing
felt ‘staches. That’s right—it’s Movember
again, which means moustaches for all!
Currently in its fourth year as a formal Canadian
charity campaign, Movember has thousands of
men across the country growing their facial hair in
support of prostate cancer research and awareness. While many are garnering donations and applause galore for their participation, others are getting nothing but dirty looks. As the campaign continues to grow, Canadians are wondering whether or not Movember is worth the effort.

point
While moustache season is in full swing and I am a well-known fan of facial hair, I am still not en- tirely sure how to feel about Movember. While I think it is a rather jovial way to raise money and awareness for an ill- ness that affects one in seven Canadian men in their lifetime, I am still skepti- cal about the impact of Movember and whether the campaign takes the right approach.

According to the Movember Canada website, 86 per cent of funds raised by Movember initiatives go toward re- search and survivor support programs of Prostate Cancer Canada, while only two per cent go toward awareness and education programs associated with Movember.

While I understand funding scientific research is more costly than any education program and continued research is necessary for a disease so prevalent, two per cent seems low to me. Nine out of 10 prostate cancer cases are curable if caught early. Shouldn’t we care more than two measly per cent about the importance of awareness?

Screening and prevention informa- tion is not readily found on the Movem- ber website. The campaign seems to rely on its Mo Bros to get the word out on these topics. Perhaps as the campaign grows in size, the dialogue will increase and more men will visit their healthcare professionals for further information, but for the time being, the campaign is too vague.

Movember Canada aspires to be an important campaign in men’s health, but how many people are raising money and engaging in meaningful conversa- tions about their health and lifestyle choices in addition to growing their fa- cial hair?
While research is necessary, more funds need to be dedicated to easily accessible education and prevention. There is a real way to reduce the num- ber of men living with and dying from prostate cancer, and that is early de- tection. Movember Canada and all its participants should be urging men to get tested now and groom their mous- taches later.

—Natalie Tremblay

counterpoint

Every November, guys and girls around the world come together to grow—or draw on—the best moustache they can muster throughout Movember, as it’s now commonly called. In Canada, these participants grow their mo’s in support of prostate cancer aware- ness and research. Mo Bros, as they have been dubbed, can register at Movember. com at the beginning of the month and grow their mo while raising funds for a good cause.

But Movember isn’t just for guys. Many a Mo Sista can be seen during Movember with a carefully chosen moustache drawn on her face or her index finger. Mo Sistas represent a large group of support during Movember, and together nearly 119,000 Canadian Mo Bros and Mo Sistas raised over $22 million last year.

Movember is not just a great way to raise awareness and funds for a very se- rious disease, but it’s fun, competitive, and gets people thinking about men’s health. Guys compete to see who can grow the biggest, dirtiest-looking, and most outlandish moustache. It’s a time of year when it becomes acceptable for guys to try out all the crazy moustache styles they might otherwise be too scared to sport—Fu Manchu, anyone?

Movember is a creative and entertaining movement with millions of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas participating globally every year. It’s a month that effectively raises awareness of topics people have previ- ously been reluctant to discuss, and has helped raise millions of dollars worldwide for programs like Prostate Cancer Canada. Movember isn’t just about growing moustaches—it’s about coming together to fight a disease that will affect one in seven men in their lifetime.
This Movember, whether you’re a guy or a girl, join the movement and help out a great cause—and don’t forget to grow your mo.

—Kiera Obbard