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Movember: Mustaches, Merriment, and Money for Men's Health


In years past, starting on or about November, you may have noticed your colleagues' and friends' facial hair begin to sprout.  By the end of the month, you might have found yourself surrounded by Mutton Chops, Handlebars, Van Dykes, Soul Patches, or even Zappas and Klingons.   You may have wondered - what on Earth possessed them to do this?


The answer: men's health, and more specifically, the Movember campaign.  Described as a hairy ribbon for men's health, a Movember mustache is a way to tell the world that you care that the average life expectancy for American men is almost five years less than women (76 compared to 81).


The Movember movement's orgins reach back to a pub in Adelaide, Australia, where a a group of men decided to grow their whiskers to support animal rights, generating a lot of buzz in the national media.    This action inspired another group of men to  to "change the face of men's health" in 2004 and enlist  30 men to grow mustaches for 30 days in order to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression, morphing into the Movember Foundation soon afterward.  


Since then, over 3 million people have participated in the Movember movement, raising $446 million worldwide for initiatives supporting men's health, including prostate and testicular cancer research, support for anxiety and depression, and mental health care reform, among others.


This year, Movember has launched a new global initiative called MOVE , "designed to encourage Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to get moving during the month of Movember."  As its name implies, MOVE means staying active, "from walking a 5K, to trying yoga, to a day of surfing to everything in between."