Moustache Moralities

Max Titmuss wants you to get hairy for a good cause

moustaches Movember 2012 UCL Movember UCL Students and Movember

I used to, and to a certain extent still do, think it strange how little male health is discussed. Almost everywhere I seem to go, I spot something related to female health problems: the latest being a poster on TCR asking whether you knew the five key signs of breast cancer. What those five signs are, rather peculiarly, it doesn’t say.

Such campaigns are, however, undoubtedly a good and vital thing; I hope no one will be cynical enough to misconstrue my words here. However, I often feel a slight niggle. What kind of a niggle? Well, for example, I feel marginally left out when I can’t go on a Race For Life by virtue of having testes. Cancer destroys lives regardless of gender. Everyone has been personally affected by the disease. So why can’t I dress up in pink and take a jog to take on those malignant melanomas?

Cancer, quite obviously, affects both genders. Take, for example, prostate cancer. Indeed, for a disease which kills almost as many people as breast cancer, it gets little airtime. That’s more than 10,000 men a year who die from this relatively easy-to-cure cancer. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to notice this disparity. Cue: Movember.

During the onset of our Siberian winters a few years ago, things began to change. Men’s faces started to get hairier. Not a gruff layer of stubble to insulate themselves from the Arctic conditions; but instead a comforting slug of keratin nestling above their upper-lips. At first I thought the Ron Jeremy Appreciation Society had their annual get-together in the Bloosmbury area. But I was wrong.

This wasn’t, heaven forbid, gratuitous facial-hair growing. No – it was the onset of Movember: a month in which men (or rather, ‘Mo Bros’) more manly than myself grow moustaches to raise awareness for men’s health. Indeed it is the only time of the year where having a moustache won’t result in being labelled an egregious hipster; though that label will apply if you still have it after December 1.

And whilst it is, on the face of it, more difficult for females to participate (all you hairier ladies out there are welcome to try), Movember does place a special emphasis on all the ‘Mo Sistas’ out there, aiding their Mo Bros on their whiskered adventure. Mo Bros take note, however: beards and goatees are strictly faux pas.

So I urge you all to dig deep, donate and think of those more unfortunate than yourself: namely those poor souls who have to walk around with moustaches for an entire month.