The month of November is usually cold and grey, and most Canadians are still in denial of winter's arrival. Thankfully, there is a month-long charitable event keeps spirits lifted: Movember.
Movember is an initiative that was started in 2003 by two Australian men and a group of 30 friends, and has now grown to over 4 million participants around the world. The goal is simple: help accelerate healthcare outcomes for men living with prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health issues through awareness, education and research. What they do to reach this goal is also simple: men begin with a clean shaven face on the first day of November, and for the rest of the month they must grow and groom a moustache (also known as a 'mo').
As many know, a change in a man's facial grooming habits is often a conversation point. The Movember Foundation asks men to use this to their advantage by creating conversations about men's health, and to create engaging and fun campaigns to collect donations for the cause. Their methods have proven to be effective— the Movember community has raised $574 million to date, and has funded over 800 programs in 21 countries.
The original 'Mo Bros and Sistas' from Australia were true entrepreneurs. They had an idea about how to solve a big, real problem, and fostered innovation and creativity to develop one of the top ranked non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the world. With the entrepreneurial spirit of the campaign still intact, it makes sense that a group of Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) candidates have joined forces to help change the face of men's health.
'The MBET Gentlemen' resisted the urge to pick up their razors this month, and some truly embraced their lip sweaters. Conrad's Mo Sistas supported the men throughout the campaign by providing a variety of treats for a Movember bake sale, and the MBET Gentlemen also provided Starbucks coffee and Montreal bagels to those who contributed to their Movember campaign. With these efforts and donations from Conrad faculty, staff, and students, the MBET Gentlemen raised $1,225.
Here is what some of the MBET Gentlemen had to say about their Movember experience:
Why did you decide to do Movember as a team?
Ali: Much in the same way a single strand of hair cannot be called a moustache, a single man with a vegetated upper lip cannot take on the immense challenge of Movember. This is why we have decided, as a democratic party, to grow these magnificent pieces of manlihood as a team.
Imran: I have never actually done Movember before, and considering I thought I could grow a mean 'stache' and do it for a good cause with a great group of guys, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.
What does participating in Movember mean to you?
Ashank: Getting everyone to be a part of a great cause while having fun doing it.
Imran: Participating in Movember meant a lot, it wasn't just about growing a moustache, but everyone getting together to help raise some money for Cancer is huge, and the fact we could see what everyone looks like with no facial hair, was life changing.
Has being in the Conrad community had an impact on your Movember experience?
Dan: Having a group of good friends participate in a charity event like Movember brings us all together through this common experience. Additionally, the faculty have been incredibly supportive. Thanks to them we have been able to beat our goal of $1,000.
Ashank: The Conrad community has been great. Everybody has tried to contribute in some way or another. The girls did a fantastic job with the bake sale and the faculty have chipped in with donations to the cause. That has been very encouraging and builds a real sense of camaraderie.
Ali: Yes. It has. Legends have it that moustaches grow at an exponential rate when they are in the vicinity of other moustaches.
What are the worst and best parts about having a moustache?
Dan: The best part is that my moustache looks great with my 1920's style news boy hat. The worst part is that my girlfriend will not kiss me on the lips while I have it, out of protest.
Ashank: The worst part about growing a moustache was looking at myself in the mirror and resisting the urge to shave it off because it looked ridiculous.The best part was Marian and Mihika [fellow MBET candidates] saying that the moustache actually looked good and that they liked it.
Any final thoughts about Movember?
Imran: I challenge the next year's MBET class to beat our record for reaching our goal.
Dan: I have had a great experience participating and would encourage others to participate in the future.
Ali: I hereby invite the members of this party to consider talking to their moustaches. One can never be in unity with one’s moustache if one never takes the time to know one’s moustache.
They mo'd like pros
Some grew in faster, some grew in thicker, but all of the MBET Gentlemen sported their mo like a pro. Here are a few snapshots of what it looks like to go from baby-faced to... not so baby-faced.
The MBET Gentlemen also provided some tips and inspiration about how to mo like a pro on Instagram. Donations can be made to the MBET Gentlemen campaign until November 30, the last day for men all across the world to bask in the glory of their Movember journey.