Students promote men’s health with Movember

Skylar Whitman

Junior Harrison McCabe is growing his facial hair in honor of his grandfather.

By Skylar Whitman, Staff Writer

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Many students think of November as a month when it is socially acceptable to let their facial hair grow freely, but a charitable foundation called “Movember” claims to have started this well-known occasion.

Movember, founded in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, is a charity event in which men, and some women, stop shaving during November in order to fund and raise awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer. Movember is the only official mustache-growing charity event in the world.

“Our tagline is to ‘change the face of men’s health,’” said Tom Whiteside, director of grassroots engagement for the Movember movement.

At CHS, allowing facial hair to grow untamed during November may be a daunting task, but it is worth it because it represents a national charity.

“You lock away your razors and let your hormones do the work,” junior Erik Wang said.

Not shaving for a full month visually expresses the importance of men’s health and supports those whose health problems are overlooked.

“My grandfather died of prostate cancer before I was born,” junior Harrison McCabe said. “I am doing it in honor of him.”

The Movember website helps unite participants and gives them ways to communicate with others and help with donations.

According to Whiteside, the movement spread to North America and Canada in 2007 and gained worldwide momentum in 2009.

After registering on the Movember website, members can post pictures, videos and communicate with other members around the world.

According to Movember.com, participants become “walking, talking billboards” for the 30 days of November in order to raise awareness for the “often ignored issue of men’s health.”

CHS students began participating within the last few years.

“I heard about it through watching people do it over the years at Churchill,” senior Ryan O’Donnell said.

In addition to communicating on the computer, a free Movember app for Apple products and Android is available in the app store.

According to the Movember website, app members can recruit other members, track their donation progress, view men’s health info and more.

October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness and women’s health, but men’s health issues are rarely publicized. Movember is one way for men to realize that their health is just as important as women’s.

“I believe that it is important to raise awareness for men’s health concerns,” McCabe said.