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Movember is an annual event in which men grow moustaches for the entire month of November to raise awareness about cancers affecting men. The name is a portmanteau of the words “moustache” and “November.”
On November 30th, 1999, the Australian news program Seven Nightly News aired a report about a group of Adelaide residents who coined the term “Movember” after deciding to grow moustaches during the month of November for charity (shown below).
According to an article in The Huffington Post, the official Movember Foundation charity began in Melbourne, Australia in November of 2003, when organizers set a goal for 30 men to grow moustaches for 30 days to raise awareness about men’s cancers.
On November 16th, 2007, The Dominion Post reported that the Scots College in Wellington, New Zealand had threatened to bar a pupil from taking exams for growing a Movember moustache on the grounds of violating the school’s appearance guidelines. That same year, the Australian tabloid television program Today Tonight accused the Movember Foundation of spending a disproportionate amount of donations on high salaries for its directors. On October 30th, 2013, the arts and culture blog Comments Enabled published an opinion piece by writer Sarah Sahagian, who argued that Movember was offensive because it is “embedded in white Christian cisgender male privilege.” The following day, the post was submitted to /r/TumblrInAction subreddit, where it received over 230 up votes and 200 comments in the first 24 hours.
On November 14th, 2011, the International Business Times reported that the Australian airline Qantas was painting moustaches on the front of planes in honor of Movember. The same year, the web browser Google Chrome released a video in support of Movember, featuring a montage of websites and videos dedicated to the annual event (shown below, left). The original video has since been made private. On October 30th, 2012, the shoe company Toms Shoes uploaded a video to YouTube titled “United We Grow,” which lauded the moustache as a facial hair style in their support of the Movember campaign (shown below, right).
On October 23rd, 2013, the denim company 7 For All Mankind posted a video in recognition of Movember, which unveiled their special “Movember jean” to help raise awareness for prostate cancer (shown below).
Nick Offerman Videos
On October 24th, 2012, a public service announcement parody video starring actor Nick Offerman, known for his role as Ron Swanson in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, was uploaded to YouTube by the men’s interest blog Made Man. In the video, Offerman lists several tongue-in-cheek methods for growing a moustache in honor of Movember. Within one month, the video accumulated over 904,500 views and 300 comments. On November 13th, Made Man uploaded a follow up video titled “Your Mo Will Get Fuller,” in which Offerman urges Movember participants to keep growing their moustaches (shown below, right), in similar vein to the “It Gets Better” project videos. In the first year, the video received more than 970,000 views and 360 comments.
On October 23rd, 2013, the Made Man YouTube channel uploaded a video of Offerman presenting several “great moments in moustache history” (shown below). In the first week, the video gathered upwards of 430,000 views and 440 comments.
Many YouTubers have created videos in honor of the annual event, many of which aimed to raise awareness of men’s cancers.
The Huffington Post – Movember Urges Men To Grow Facial Hair, Fundraise For Prostate Cancer Awareness