This week, you have probably seen some glorious mustaches and some laughable baby faces. Why, you ask? MOVEMBER. What is Movember, you ask? Well, my inquisitive friend, let me lead you on a magical mustache ride full of facts, figures and fuzz.
Movember is an annual month-long festival dedicated to changing the face of men’s health, sponsored internationally by the Movember Fund and at Bowdoin by your 2014 Class Council, Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Violence (BMASV) and Peer Health.
The goal is simple: throughout the month formerly known as November, honorable men and women will pledge to raise awareness and funds for men’s health. Specifically, Movember aims to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer, as well as mental health issues.
Why these three issues, and what do they have to do with me, you ask? Well, sit back and listen, comrade: in the U.S., one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and chances are you know—or will meet—a man who has it at some point in your life.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young American men aged 15-35, an age range that includes the whole student body (and half of the hockey team).
Lastly, roughly one in four American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year, and, men especially fail to seek help regarding depression and other mental health issues. This chronic underreporting is especially common in collegiate environments, where mental health issues often take a backseat to classwork and extracurricular concerns.
Let’s be frank. As men we usually have it pretty good. However, our stereotypical understanding of masculinity, which glorifies strength and stoicism, does not lend itself to seeking help for highly treatable—yet possibly fatal—conditions.
And that’s where the mustache comes in. This classic emblem of MEN will be our furry flag in raising awareness.
Men are encouraged to cultivate magnificent ’staches for the entire month. Every dark upper lip will act as a conversation starter; every follicle will stand in defiance of ignorance and stubbornness. This is not a male-only campaign, however; our Mo Sistas will stand alongside us in raising awareness and funds.
So ask yourself some questions, because you have already asked us plenty. Are you pro-cancer? Do you like depression? Will I enjoy the Honolulu Tofu at Thorne tonight? If the answer is no to any of these questions, head to us.movember.com.
We have created a Bowdoin College network, which you can search for on the website. It already has 144 members.
From the network page, you can join one of the 18 groups already flying under the Mowdoin banner. If none of those tickle your fancy, you can create a new team or fly solo. For the latter two options, simply sign up first, then search for the network and hit “Join This Team." If you have any questions, please contact either of us (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com).
We hope that all of you will help support this great cause, and that many of you will join Ron Swanson, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Angus King and the rest of us in nourishing a nice Lip Sweater, Flavor Savor, Highway Handlebar, or any other type of Mo.
Zohran Mamdani and Duncan Taylor are members of the Class of 2014.