Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Still Learning: What's Up with the Mustaches?

Whenever I write a "Still Learning" post, I wonder if my readers, much like the people in the recent Geico ad campaign, are thinking: "Everyone knows that!" Still, I push on, hoping the information presented might be new or helpful to someone or that someone will leave a comment with additional information to edify me. The topic for this "Still Learning" is Movember. You may wonder why I've chosen a topic that is really about men for a Flattering50 post. Well, as I recently learned, Movember is a campaign for a good cause. And I believe doing something good for others is always flattering.

For me, learning about Movember has been a little like a scavenger hunt. On the evening of November 2nd, I was in New York City for a birthday party. En route to the festivities, I saw two young men with fake mustaches. I didn't think much of it because a lot of people on the streets were dressed for belated Halloween parties. But then, on the way home, my husband and I passed a very attractive, statuesque young woman at Fourteenth Street and Seventh Ave. She was dressed for club-going, not for a Halloween party, and yet, she was wearing a penciled-on pencil mustache. Again, I didn't think much of it; I assumed the mustache was her nod to Halloween.

The next day, however, I picked up the November issue of Vogue and several pages into the issue I came upon a Chanel advertisement that featured three models, including one--you guessed it--with a penciled-on pencil mustache (above and below). The mustache was very similar to the one I saw the young woman wearing the night before.

In the days that followed, I started asking everyone I know: "What's up with the mustaches?" No one had an answer. At this point, I assumed it was all just a silly coincidence.

Then...a week later, while grocery shopping, I overheard a little girl, roughly age 7, say to her mother: "Look mommy, he's got a mustache, too!" I turned to look and saw the girl was point at a free-standing Nabisco cookie display (below). The mom and I were at the deli counter. I had a strong urge to ask the mom: "Pardon me, is there something I should know about mustaches?" However, I was afraid there was nothing up with mustaches and the woman would alert management to the crazy old lady walking around the store.

It wasn't till three days ago (I'm almost done!) that I finally got an answer to "What's Up with the Mustaches?" I was online and I came across a slideshow of different mustache styles. Naturally, I click on the slideshow and that's where I finally discovered Movember.

In the off chance that I'm not the last soul around to hear about Movember, here's a few details. Like Breast Cancer Awareness in October, Movember (Moustache + November= Movember) is a campaign to raise awareness and support for men's health issues, especially testicular and prostrate cancer.

The annual charity event, which began in Australia in 2004 (yes, that long ago!), has been "growing" (sorry for the pun) worldwide every year. Each year, men around the world grow mustaches in November to raise money for men's health issues.  Since spreading to South Africa, Europe and North America, the Movember Foundation has raised $174-million worldwide. In 2010, participants in the United States reportedly raised over $7.5 million. This year, a reported 21 countries across five continents are participating in "Generation Moustache."

Donations to Movember go to programs that combat prostrate and testicular cancer. The focus is on awareness and education, living with and beyond cancer, and research to change "the face of men's health." If you'd like to learn more about Movember or make a donation, visit the Movember Foundation. There's also a Facebook page.

Meanwhile...Yesterday, I received an email from a friend whose son is at Tufts University. Apparently, the son's fraternity is--you guessed it--growing mustaches to raise money for Movember. My friend didn't have a current photo of his son with a budding mustache. So to help us visualize, he took a baby photo of his son and added one (below).

So...  Am I the last person on the planet to hear about Movember? Do you know anyone who is part of the Moustache Generation? I'd love to hear from you.