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.
How would housebound and homeless people survive a natural disaster?
Rachel Belle | August 26, 2015 5:13 pmAfter that frightening 'New Yorker' article came out, warning us that a big earthquake is bound to destroy the region, many of us started to prepare. But who will help the region's most vulnerable population?
A 'Black Lives Matter' textbook is coming for middle and high schoolers
Rachel Belle | August 25, 2015 5:58 pmA 'Black Lives Matter' textbook is slated for a January 2016 release. Written by a college professor and a journalist, it is intended for grades 6-12, and is Common Core approved.
Unchecked homeless issue in Seattle needs leadership
Kipp Robertson | August 25, 2015 5:07 pmDon't just point fingers at the Seattle Police Department for the spreading homeless issue in the city.
Families of fallen firefighters trying to come to terms with loss
Stephanie Klein | August 24, 2015 2:12 pmThe families of three fallen firefighters are left to deal with the enormity of their loss.
Help us help the Methow Valley firefighters
MyNorthwest.com | August 20, 2015 3:00 pmRon and Don are taking donations via GoFundMe for the firefighters who died while trying to save their community.
Why does Than Brothers give you a cream puff with your pho?
Rachel Belle | August 19, 2015 4:30 pmWonder why Than Brothers gives you a complimentary cream puff at the start of your meal? Other pho restaurants don't. Let's visit the restaurant's Everett cream puff bakery to make sense of it all.
Don O'Neill takes looting in Chelan personal
Richard D. Oxley | August 19, 2015 12:00 pmFamilies in the path of wildfires plaguing the Chelan area now have one more thing to worry about: Looters.
Mutant lice resistant to treatment
Kim Shepard | August 18, 2015 5:13 pmThe tiny insects that climb from head to head, making scalps itch and parents cringe, have mutated in a way that make them nearly impossible to kill with the usual treatments.
Seattle needs to 'swing for the fences' to end homelessness
Kipp Robertson | August 14, 2015 4:14 pmCompared to some cities, Seattle is behind in its efforts to fix its homeless problem.
Jewish, Muslim and Christian kids from the US and Jerusalem come together at a Seattle summer camp
Rachel Belle | August 13, 2015 5:04 pmKids4Peace summer camp brings Jewish, Muslim and Christian 12 year olds from Washington state together with 12 year old Palestinians and Israelis, from Jerusalem, for 12 days.
When pot and tech collide
Kim Shepard | August 13, 2015 1:59 pmSeattle is already known for being fertile ground for tech startups. With the growing recreational and medicinal cannabis industries getting off the ground, we're seeing the tech and marijuana markets colliding in new and very interesting ways.
Is it OK to water shame your neighbors during Seattle's drought?
August 12, 2015 3:09 pmRon Upshaw wants Woodinville residents to let their lawns go brown because it's time to conserve water. Or at least point the sprinklers in the right direction.
Cheetos, lunch meat and juice boxes were brought to you by the US military
Rachel Belle | August 11, 2015 5:52 pmIf you eat processed foods, you're basically eating gussied up military rations. A new book shows how wartime military rations made their way into our supermarkets.
Are we losing our Seahawks quarterback to pop culture?
Kipp Robertson | August 10, 2015 4:52 pmIs Russell Wilson 100 percent focused on football right now?
Marshawn Lynch relives Super Bowl loss on 'The League'
Kipp Robertson | August 07, 2015 4:00 pmMarshawn Lynch is making it clear about what he thinks should have been done during the Seahawks' last play of Super Bowl XLIX.