Dumb it Down: How did Movember come to be?
You would have to be living under a rock not to know that Movember kicks off today. Men throughout the world will be encouraged to grow facial hair in differing creations, but what exactly is it all about?
By Declan Whooley
So it’s that time of year where men can look ridiculous in the name of charity?
It certainly is. Men will be doing their best to emulate Tom Selleck and other fashionable tache wearers to raise money for prostate cancer.
A noble cause. Where did it all stem from?
A group of men in Adelaide claim to be the first exponents of the word. The idea was formed in a pub – where else? – in 1999 by a group of around 80 in order to raise money for the RSPCA.
Their ingenius slogan was called ‘whiskers for whiskers’, but they coined the term Movember to celebrate the month of facial hair.
Never heard of the animal connection. Are they the brains behind Movember still?
That animal-loving group has nothing to do with Movember as know it today. In 2004, a group of 30 men in Melbourne grew a moustache for 30 days and formed the Movember Foundation. To date, 1.9 million have participated in growing a tache for Movember.
As funny as the dodgy tashes are, are they raising much for the charity?
They certainly are. To date more than €215 million has been raised worldwide, so it’s fair to say that there is a method behind the humour.
In Canada alone last year, 245,000 men officially participated in the charity and raised around $42 million dollars.
How do we do in Ireland?
Pretty well considering it has only caught on in the last couple of years. Last year 15,000 men got in on the act and €1.7 million was raised for the cause.
Pat on the back all round.
Impressive figures. Everyone is happy so?
Well, not quite. In 2007 the Movember Foundation came under scrutiny for spending vast amounts of the money collected to fund running costs and directors, the same claims that ‘Kony 2012’ were plagued by.
Roughly 8-9% of funds raised are used to keep the foundation in operation.
So what exactly are the rules to Movember?
According to the website, each mo bro must begin November with a clean shaven face. Even if you don’t have much growth, no cheating allowed.
Beards and goatees and lastly, and perhaps most importantly, each mo bro must conduct himself like a ‘true county gentleman’.
A country gentleman? Doesn’t Joey Barton get involved every year?
True, it is really more notional than anything else. Barton would struggle to edge his way into that category, no matter how much he googles philosophers’ sayings.