Tuesday, 30 November 2010

'A Coat of Arms for Your Face': Movember

"A well maintained moustache is a symbol of a modern gentleman."

That's according to the founders of Movember, the month-long charity event inviting men grow a moustache to raise money and awareness for men's health and prostate cancer in particular.

From the wispy lip-ticklers at the Cardiff School of Journalism to the grizzly and glorious efforts of international rugby players, Movember is a worldwide movement.

The rules are simple. Begin on 1 November with a clean shaven face and grow a moustache for the entire month.

Founded in Australia in 2003, Movember has grown to the extent that, in 2009, official global participation reached 255,755, with over a million donors raising £26m.

Having lost family members to different forms of cancer, I'm aware of the disease's fatal consequences. Prostate cancer, however, has not always benefited from exposure as far-reaching as Movember.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK – 36,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and 250,000 men are currently living with the disease.

Whether you're driven by the loss of a loved one or just happy to donate your face to a good cause, Movember is a more than worthy reason for sporting some facial furniture.

One of the primary objectives for the founders of Movember is to change men's attitudes towards their health - to encourage them to be more proactive in taking care for themselves.

A recent poll showed 45% of 'Mo Bros' are thinking of keeping their new facial accessories beyond the end of November.

But with my effort falling some way short of Tom Selleck levels of hirsute luxury, I doubt my moustache will be keeping me company much longer.

If you'd like to make a donation, please visit: http://uk.movember.com/donate/

As written for Guardian Cardiff