If a clean-cut colleague suddenly sprouts a third brow, this one just above the upper lip, don’t hesitate to confront him.
For thousands of guys across the globe, getting questions is one of the goals behind growing a mustache in November, otherwise known as Movember.
From its pencil-thin ambitions in Melbourne, Australia, Movember has grown into a worldwide campaign that calls attention to men’s health issues. Since 2003, more than 1.1 million men have participated, raising $174 million. In the U.S., the beneficiaries are the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Participants register at movember.com, start clean-shaven on Nov. 1, then grow a mustache for 30 days, collecting pledges in various ways. A twist on the red ribbon for AIDS or pink for breast cancer awareness, the mustache becomes “a hairy ribbon,” said Aaron Brost, who participates each year and publicizes the campaign in the Midwest. “It definitely starts conversations.”
In past years Brost has used social media to invite bidding for the rights to dictate the type of mustache he will grow. Last year the highest bidder paid $300 toward the cause and designated a trucker style.
This year Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford, members of the band Cake and Brody Jenner are among the celebrities committed to participate.
It’s a serious effort, but also an amusement with a fresh batch of puns and a new poster-boy each year — this year it’s the Country Gentleman.