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Movember Madness


By Jessie

A slightly disconcerting trend I’ve noticed over the last week or so is that a good proportion of the males I meet throughout the day appear to have travelled through time from the set of a cheesy 70’s movie…

Of course, it must be Movember!

Movember is a charity event held every November since 1999 in Australia and New Zealand to raise money for prostate cancer and male depression. This year, the event spread to Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. At the start of the month, participants register with a freshly shaven face and ‘before’ photos are often taken. The ‘Mo Bros’ then have the whole of November to cultivate their moustaches into winning specimens, while increasing public awareness about male health issues and raising money through sponsorship. At the end of the month ‘Mo parties’ are arranged, which usually involve the presentation of the ‘Best Mo’ award, and a ritual group shave.

Movember raises money for various men’s health organisations. In Australia, the beneficiaries are:
• The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, whose aim is to reduce the impact of prostate cancer on Australian men, their partners, their families and the community.

• Beyondblue – the national depression initiative with a specific focus on increasing community awareness of depression in men and addressing the associated stigma of men living with depression.

From my desk here at YouPlay HQ I am surrounded by a variety of moustaches in every colour and style. From feathery, patchy affairs to one particular mo so bristling and hirsute it looks like a small furry animal has attached itself to the top lip.

Just yesterday I almost spilt my coffee as a big hairy specimen surprised me in the kitchen. Caught off-guard, for a split-second all I could wonder was what on earth Tom Selleck circa. Magnum P.I. was doing in the office anyway? On the verge of calling security, a faint voice suddenly became audible behind those luxurious facial follicles. I breathed a sigh of relief; it was only Justin, YouPlay’s Chief Designer, sporting a particularly impressive Boony.*

When you think about it, the moustache says a lot about the man (or woman) behind it. There are an abundance of styles, from the no-nonsense handlebar style brandished by the late Freddie Mercury to pencil thin, ultra-styled Salvador Dali curlicues. Dali’s moustache was so implicit to his artistic muse that he dedicated paintings to it and even published a book which lovingly celebrated its tonsorial charms! Other characters throughout history known for their distinctive upper-lip hair include philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, musician Frank Zappa, dictator Adolph Hitler and comedian Charlie Chaplin.


* Boony (David Boon) is a legendary Australian cricketer from the 1980s – 90s infamous for the extravagant growth cascading from his face.

Great MOments in MOustaches

  • Some common abbreviations for the moustache are ‘stache, ‘tache, ‘tash, and mo. In Liverpool the moustache is known as a muzzy.


  • Shaving with stone razors was technologically possible from Neolithic times but the oldest portrait showing a shaved man with a moustache is a Scythian horseman from 300 BC.


  • At The World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007 there were 6 subcategories in the moustache category:

    1. Natural Moustache -moustache may be styled but without aids.

    2. Hungarian Moustache - big and bushy, beginning from the middle of the upper lip and pulled to the side.

    3. Dalí - narrow, long points bent or curved steeply upward; areas past the corner of the mouth must be shaved.

    4. English - narrow, beginning at the middle of the upper lip the whiskers are very long and pulled to the side, slightly curled; the ends are pointed slightly upward; areas past the corner of the mouth usually shaved.

    5. Imperial - whiskers growing from both the upper lip and cheeks, curled upward.

    6. Freestyle - all moustaches that do not match other classes.


  • In August 2007, following a widely publicised case, the US Supreme Court upheld a trial lawyer's right to veto a juror on upper-lip hair alone. The American Moustache Institute, a U.S. pressure group, immediately launched a campaign to counter prejudice against their members.


  • The late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo had a long association with the moustache. Germaine Greer writes: “while making herself recognisable by the trademark eyebrows and moustache, Kahlo also makes herself monumental.”


  • The rules for participation according to the original Movember Committee’s ‘Movember Manifesto’ stated:

    On October 31, the “moustache region” must be completely shaved.
    During Movember no hair may be allowed to grow in the “goatee zone” (below the lip).
    There is to be no joining of the moustache to sideburns.
    Failure to conform to all of these rules may, at the discretion of the  official  Movember Committee, result in instant blacklisting and may  void invitation to the Mo Ball.


More Movember Resources

It’s not too late to sponsor a Mo Bro!

Get in quick - contribute to these worthy causes and read the latest  event news at the official Movember website:

Visit the original Movember site for important resources like the Movember Hall of Fame and the hilarious Movember Dictionary. Examples include:

  • AlaMO: the mo that will always be remembered
  • MOcha: a brown mo
  • MOses: to part the mo

Sources: Find out more by following these links:
Wikipedia entry on moustaches
Wikipedia entry on Movember
Germaine Greer’s article on Frida Kahlo


2 Responses to

Movember Madness

November 29, 2007 at 11:30 AM


Great stuff, I have participated in Movember the past two years. The mo is kind of growing on me ... Literally lol...:)


December 01, 2007 at 7:28 AM


This is a fantastic idea. I have never heard of 'Movember' but what a great way to raise awareness of prostrate cancer and male depression. So much hype is given for breast cancer, ovarian cancer etc and the poor old male is left out every time. I commend those who first instigated this wonderful idea and hope it is given more awareness next year.