The manliest of months is upon us again.
It is time for the men of Singapore to get online and begin rallying support for the hairy undertaking that is Movember.
The annual event is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on the faces of millions of men around the world each November.
The organisation’s vision is to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues, including depression, and prostate and testicular cancers, using the moustache as a catalyst.
Movember is not only for men, women or "Mo Sistas" can lend their support as well
Patrick Neo, 54, manager of Singapore Cancer Society’s volunteers programme, told inSing: “By being aware (of the health risks), at least they know what steps to take next. A moustache is a great conversational starter, and asking men to stop shaving is a great way to force the topic of prostate or testicular cancer into the discussion.”
The Singapore Cancer Society said nearly 3,500 men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the last five years, and 600 have succumbed to the disease.
“Not many people know about prostate cancer, unlike breast cancer, because men are just not as forthcoming as women,” Neo said.
Movember hopes it is changing that. The event drew more than 2,700 participants here last year.
Neo said: “We have seen more people taking part, asking questions or going for screenings ever since we partnered with Movember two years ago.”
Greg Rafferty, 38, head of the Movember movement in Asia, agreed: “More are becoming aware of the campaign and because we’re funding some amazing programmes here, more people are willing to get on board and support the campaign.”
Edroos Alsagoff, 35, will be taking part in the campaign again this year. This is the third year it is happening in Singapore.
The art director found out about Movember through Facebook.
“I was sold when I discovered that it was for a good cause. I was also able to get others to donate through my Movember profile,” he said.
He added: “I haven't grown a proper moustache ever before (I took part in) Movember. It really stood out like a sore thumb. It was weird for my wife and kids at first, but it grew on them, too.”
Official Movember rules for growing and grooming a mo:
Register at sg.movember.com. Each Mo Bro must begin 1 November with a clean-shaven face, growing and grooming a moustache for the month. The helpful style guide on the website will help you choose your ideal “homegrown” moustache.
• There is to be no joining of the Mo to your side burns. That’s considered a beard.
• There is to be no joining of the handlebars to your chin. That’s considered a goatee.
• Each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman.
Certainly, there is more to just about growing a notable mouth brow with the campaign.
In 2013, Movember raised more than $713 million globally. The money has been put towards programmes both locally and globally that are having an impact on key men’s health issues of prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Participants from Singapore raised close to $640,000. Globally, the campaign has raised around $166 million so far.
Rafferty said: “This year we are looking to remind people that all the funds raised here will be supporting men in Singapore. We really want to take it to the streets of Singapore and get local men on board.”
He quipped: “A man with a moustache is also 25 per cent better looking.”
This year’s theme, ‘Made in Movember’, is inspired by the global trend of proudly supporting locally grown and manufactured products.
The campaign is collaborating with Singapore businesses to organise a series of events throughout November, such as a night market by online retailer The Local People, workshops by Tyrwhitt General Company, as well as a special fitness circuit at a Fitness First gym.
Movember began in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, when 30 Mo Bros (men who grow moustaches; “mo” being slang for “moustache”) first let their facial hair flourish for the cause.
To register, go to http://sg.movember.com
Zaki Jufri writes about the arts, entertainment, film and other stuff for inSing.com