During November each year, MovemberMovember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men's faces in the U.S. and around the world. With their Mo's these men are helping to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Movember got its start in Melbourne, Australia in 2003.
"A few of the founders were out riding skateboards, having a beer or two, talking about '80's fashion and how the moustache never really came back in vogue. They left that day with a challenge issued. They got about 30 people to do it that year to basically grow a moustache for 30 days," says J.J. Owen who is the Head of Grassroots Engagement for Movember USA.
In 2008 a colleague of J.J.'s mentioned something to him about moustaches and Movember and a short time later he got some friends together and decided to take action.
"My roommate's mom at the time had cancer so we wanted to do something cancer related and we were both facially gifted as far as moustache growth so we were just like 'Let's do this'," says J.J..
Since it's inception Movember has raised over 300 million dollars and has grown to become a global movement inspiring more than 1.9 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate with formal campaigns all around the world. You may be asking how it is exactly that a moustache is supposed to spark conversation and spread awareness of men's health issues. Well, the theory behind the 'stache is that people will see someone sporting this manly mane and ask them about it which will hopefully then lead to a conversation about the cause. And, that conversation is sometimes very difficult to have.
"It's more important for that guy who's rockin' a moustache who's 20 something, 30 something, to have the talk with their dad or their uncle about men's health because those guys are the ones that are getting checked for prostate cancer at that moment and that's the conversation that's typically not happening. I've had Mo Bros tell me that their dad's feel like they're protecting them by not telling them," says J.J..
Prostate and testicular cancer were not top of mind for Lee Martineau until it hit home.
"My grandfather had been diagnosed with prostate cancer 12 years ago and when he was, my uncle and father got checked out because when it's in the genes you want to get examined. My uncle had it at the same time so they were both fighting it and treating it and my father did not and then 8 years later he was getting his annual check-up and then his PSA count was high and went in and he, too, had prostate cancer."
This Movember I will be joining the ranks of the moustachioed man. Yes, I've been blessed with the 'I can grow a massive beard and if I don't trim it on a regular basis I totally look like a hobo', gene. And, yes, I'm pretty sure that growing a moustache will make me look like a freak. That's why my plan was to grow that hobo beard and then trim it into a 'stache but I out found out that the rules of Movember are actually pretty strict.
"You grow just a moustache for 30 days. No beards and no goatees because nobody's gonna give you a high five for that. If it connects to the sideburns that's a beard and if it connects under your chin that's a goatee and those are disqualified," says J.J..
So get out there men, and, maybe even some women and grow your Mo big and grow your Mo proud, knowing that you will be one of many Mo Bros and Mo Sistas that will be helping to change the face of men's health.
Are you a hoarder? Here's some help
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Huard: Stick to your own resolutions, don't give them to others
Richard D. Oxley | December 28, 2015 6:25 amMike Salk and Brock Huard consider the notion of giving other people New Years Resolutions instead of making your own.
Seattleites are stuffing stockings with pot
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Tribe files discrimination lawsuit against City of Snoqualmie
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Seahawks take kids on a once-in-a-lifetime Christmas shopping spree
Josh Kerns | December 17, 2015 11:39 amWhen a couple of local Boys and Girls Clubs told their kids they were going to Toys R' Us this week, they were pretty excited. But little did they know they'd be in for the Christmas experience of a lifetime, thanks to some Seahawks.
What do Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen think of Donald Trump?
Richard D. Oxley | December 16, 2015 8:25 pmTV's Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen bring their comic friendship to a Seattle stage to share stories, jokes and gossip.
Seattle Meowtropolitan Cafe is the city's very first cat cafe
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Flying from Hawaii to Seattle on Alaska Airlines? Help transport a shelter animal
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Deck the halls with boughs of challah: When Santa Claus... is Jewish
Rachel Belle | December 08, 2015 5:34 pmWhen your kid sits on Santa's lap this year, might it be a Jewish Santa? Rachel Belle chats with two Jewish men, who never celebrated Christmas, about why they take on the role of Santa Claus.
A colorblind Tacoma teen sees new colors for the first time
Rachel Belle | December 07, 2015 3:43 pmThirteen year old Eli Robinson is colorblind. But thanks to special glasses made by EnChroma, he was able to see all the colors of the rainbow for the first time. Rachel Belle was at Tacoma's Museum of Glass the first time he tried them on.
Don O'Neill: I almost killed a bicyclist who wasn't using a light
Eric Mandel | December 06, 2015 11:54 amAfter an early morning brush with death, O'Neill wants to add light the murky issues surrounding Seattle bicyclists.
How would police handle a mass shooting in the Puget Sound region?
Richard D. Oxley | December 02, 2015 7:20 pmFrom first responders to SWAT teams and shooters - how the Puget Sound region trains for a mass shooting.
Ron: WWU threats are reflective of a generational problem
Richard D. Oxley | December 01, 2015 8:09 pmAfter the arrest of a Western Washington Student for alleged online threats, Ron Upshaw believes the problem is more widespread than just one student.
Stories from teen refugees in Tukwila highlight the Syrian refugee crisis
Rachel Belle | December 01, 2015 5:44 pmTukwila's Foster High School is in one of the most diverse school districts in the country, full of kids from around the globe, most of them refugees.
Every Little Counts: A benefit concert for MusiCares, produced by legendary Seattle DJ Marco Collins
November 30, 2015 6:17 pmLegendary Seattle DJ Marco Collins has struggled with addiction for decades, and credits the non-profit MusiCares for helping him get clean, sober and stay alive. To give back, he's producing a benefit show for MusiCares at Neumos on Thursday, December 3rd.