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Ready, set, grow: Movember 2013

By Zaki JufriEvents - 14 October 2013 6:46 PM | Updated 05 November 2013

Ready, set, grow: Movember 2013

Every November, look around and you'll notice men sporting a revived trend — the moustache.

The upper lip fuzz isn't because razors have myteriously disappear from bathrooms, the newly moustachioed men are growing facial hair for a good cause - prostate cancer.  

Once a relative mystery here, the month of Movember (formerly known as November) has become quite a talking point here since it was formally launched in Singapore last year, to help create more awareness of health issues such as prostate cancer.

For it’s 10th anniversary this year, the theme “Generation Mo” or "Gen Mo”, is a play on “Gen X” and “Gen Y”, to target a new generation of fundraisers.

Last year’s “Movember And Sons” theme was based on the idea of a traditional father-and-son run business. 

For Haizam Ja'udin, it will be his second time growing a moustache and his reasons are personal.

"Besides trying to see how much of a moustache I can grow as my dad, I'm taking part as I lost my late grandfather to cancer more than 10 years ago. Even though I was not exactly that close to him but to see him succumb to cancer within three months of being diagnosed with the terminal disease was a painful experience for me and my family," the management support officer for the Ministry of Social and Family Development said.

"Personally, I feel it is a great initiative to raise prostate cancer awareness as it does not have as much publicity as compared to breast cancer awareness," Haizam added.

And Movember does just that as Greg Rafferty, the country manager for Movember Asia Pacific said that the campaign is the men's version of the Pink Ribbon, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness. 

"Growing a moustache is Movember’s hairy ribbon; it is the symbol of support for men’s health," Rafferty told inSing.com.

Get Involved

Gentlemen or ‘Mo Bros’, as they are better known, are encouraged in October to sign up at Movember.com.

But before you sign up and start growing a 'mo, there are rules for this sort of thing, as laid out by the non-profit group.

First, a 'Mo Bro' must start on 1 November clean-shaven.

Second, you need to maintain your moustache: Grooming is key.

There are also rules pertaining to gentlemanly behaviour, as well as rules preventing the moustache from touching one's sideburns (this is a beard) or joining the moustache's handlebars to your chin (this is a goatee).

The goal is to get your friends to donate money to your Movember cause, which is then donated to the Singapore Cancer Society.

Last year, Singapore raised $743,00 for Movember. Worldwide, the charity raised S$174 million with some 1.1 million people involved.

"Singapore’s first campaign exceed all expectations, however, I think this highlights the importance the local community places on men’s health," Rafferty said.

"This year, we’re trying to push our boundaries and reach out to more engaged citizens. The more people that register and the more funds that are raised, the more important men’s health programs we can fund in Singapore. So the more the merrier!"

Movember ambassador and TV host Paul Foster is excited to be part of the campaign this year.

“It’s common knowledge that men just don’t talk about their health as openly as women do, but Movember engages us through creative wit and camaraderie. I’m excited to begin growing my Mo this Movember,” said Foster.

While growing Mo's is limited to the guys, the ladies or otherwise known as "Mo Sistas" also play a vital role in the success of Movember by registering, supporting and encouraging the men in their lives to get involved, spreading the important message across.

Artist Samantha Lo poses with her art for Movember

At the end of the month, parties are held around the globe to celebrate those "who sacrificed their upper lip for the month".

In Singapore, dance club Kyo will be hosting a 'Movember Gala Parte' on 29 November. Entrance is free to anyone that has signed up on the Movember website and guests are encouraged to "dress the part".

mo guide
Pick a mo for Movember. Click on image to enlarge

Mo(re) for Movember

The charity has also added a running list of "Movember Rated Barbers" to its website, to point would-be participants towards professional groomers in their cities. 

For Singapore, barbershops Sultans of Shave (#02-01 11 North Canal Rd., read review here) and Panic Room (62 Neil Rd., thepanicroom.com.sg) are offering donate-what-you-want Movember shaves for all registered Mo Bros. Spa Esprit’s We Need A Hero (#01-86 57 Eng Hoon St.) offers complimentary trim and moustache shaping throughout Movember. All donations go straight to the Movember fund for Singapore Cancer Society.

Urban artist Samantha Lo went around Singapore to put up her specially created art for Movember at places like Burnt Ends, Kilo, Sarnies, Pistola and Pact to spread the message about the campaign. 

Need mo ideas? Check out the nifty infographic above on various styles and pick out your favourite.