Every year in November, many of the men I know sport mustaches and hold interesting competitions. The occasion? Movember, of course.
To be honest, I’ve always felt left out while my masculine office-mates flexed their muscles and discussed creative Movember ideas to celebrate their health right—from events, to gear, to charitable giving. Thankfully, there are tons of ways for us women to participate, too.
What Is Movember?
Movember is a global effort to improve the health and quality of life for men everywhere. It all started with three guys, CEO Adam Garone among them, in an Australian pub observing with disenchantment the decline in popularity of the iconic mustache, which was so popular in the 1980s. Then, they had an idea: why not grow a few ‘staches and use the ensuing conversations as an opportunity to fundraise for men’s health? So that’s what they did.
Today, the Movember Foundation calls the classic mustache “nature’s billboard.” The message? Wake up. Use creative Movember ideas to assert the prevalence of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, inactive lifestyles, and poor mental health. Then make a few healthy lifestyle changes and, perhaps most importantly, encourage others to do the same. A man’s new thirty-day ‘stache is all but guaranteed to start conversations, and a Movember participant commits to using it to amplify the issue of men’s health.
The mustache-growing fun is catchy, sure, but there are many other ways to get involved. Most kids and women are … under-resourced in the facial hair department, so we need to get creative.
Instead of lamenting your benched status, check out the following Movember ideas that can turn you into a true advocate of men’s health.
Tweet It and Wear It
Read up. Educate yourself on why poor mental and physical health is much more prolific among men than women, and what aspect of these trends you should get behind. Then, create a free account with the Movember Foundation that identifies you as a participant. If you’d like your efforts to support a specific Movember charity, download the Movember app (it’s free) to keep track of your financial contributions in real time.
Distribute your fundraising link. Tweet your unique URL to your friends and family, encouraging them to check out your commitment to men’s health. Be sure to tag @TomsofMaine and @thanybethanybe so we can cheer you on!
And of course, gear up! When you can’t boast your own facial hair, wear it instead. In the same way a mustache can spark a conversation, so can a hoodie, a pin, or even your own adhesive handlebar style.
Shave the Date
Anticipation is the driving force behind this health-conscious month, and a “Shave the Date” notice gets people excited for Movember. That way, they can also build some wiggle room into their budget so that when you do ask for cash, they’ve planned for it. This also lets them invite others long before it’s time to dole out their donation.
Start your ‘stache off right with a mustache party. The mustache icon is already a pop-culture emblem, so a mustache party is the perfect way to express yourself while raising both money and awareness for men’s health. Be sure to check out social media for inspiration. Some women are natural experts in the hospitality area, and if you are too, a mustache party is both an outlet and good deed leading into the holiday season.
Grow Your Support
Ask your boss to match dollars donated; good businesses are always looking for ways to give back. Give your own employer a great cause to support by asking them to contribute—if not wear their own—as well as spread the word.
While you’re at it, get a local college sports team involved. Sign up the football team or basketball team, who may already have their own plans to get facially fancy for this month of competition. Think of it this way: your efforts for goodness can go viral with these handsome young men doing the promotion for you!
This is a great portal through which to enlist friends and friends of friends, as well. You never know who may have a special empathy for men’s health. Many people are going through a perspective change right now regarding men’s health, and want to get involved. Leave a stack of personalized Movember cards at every checkout station and bank teller that permits it. Post them at the library and community bulletin board, and take an ad out in the newspaper.
Finally, get other local businesses involved; local shops are always looking for ways to advertise. Put their creativity to work on your behalf, and watch the funding roll in.
The Movember Foundation has a ton of other inspiring ideas and tips for registrants, so create an account to unlock all the resources available. Together, we’ll change the “face” of men’s health, one month at a time.
Image source: Bethany Johnson
“This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.”