I am really not a big fan of November. With apologies to all of you who celebrate some wonderful occasion over the next thirty days, for those of us with little to anticipate it can be one long, dreary, dark, misery of a month. November doesn't have the beauty and striking hues of October, nor does it have the expectancy and suspense of December. We Canadians don't have the family fun of Thanksgiving to look forward to, nor do we have a parade to rival Macy's. The days are shorter, the skies greyer, and I truly hate waking up before sunrise. But over the last several years November has begun to provide a small modicum of entertainment. I speak of course of the annual growing of the facial hair now known across the globe as Movember.
Movember started in Australia over a few beers in 2003 as an idea to revive the '70s fashion 'stache that had gone the way of the leisure suit, disco, and Starsky and Hutch. There was no real thought to the friends' drunken conversation other than the rule that one must start the month clean-shaven and grow the best upper lip accessory for the entire month that one was physically able. The guys had such fun with the idea, that the following year they decided to attach a worthy cause to their facial hair cultivation and raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. Today, men around the world are beginning their own "visage quest" as they become walking posters for the cause.
It isn't always pretty. There are the wisps and strays that make one question the testosterone levels. There are the Ron Jeremy porn star looks and the Rollie Fingers waxed jobs. Honestly, I can grow a better moustache than some of my young friends and family! That said, it does provide a creative outlet for many who use their own faces as the canvas, and the good news is that disasters can be remedied by Gillette or Schick in thirty days.
My only issue with Movember is that the good cause may go missing in all of the fun. Much like the corporate co-opting of the pink ribbon campaign, some have forgotten that there is a bigger issue to be remembered by the facial hair sprouts. I urge all of you who are participating this year to register at the Movember website and try and raise a few bucks for the cause. You can also urge those near and dear of a certain age to head to their physicians and get screened. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men in Canada outside of non-melenoma skin cancers. So, grow those lip-ticklers and brighten up my November. Just don't forget why you are doing it.