The power of facial hair has rarely been disputed. From Tom Selleck to Frida Kahlo, we often associate these follicles north of the neck with one’s creative or professional timeline. Richie Cunningham, for instance, may not have been viewed nearly as wholesome had he been able to grow anything other than light peach fuzz. What would Hulk Hogan be without the golden stache? Would Brian Wilson even remain in baseball vernacular sans black pirate beard?
However, not often does a mug rug do the wonders for others that it does for it’s owner. Apathetic as these hairs may have been in the past concerning their ability to bring awareness to the social consciousness, times have changed and with that change comes the portmanteau of “mustache” and “November”, a phenomenon known as Movember.
This annual undertaking of growing a grill garden in support of men’s health issues (more often than not associated with Prostate Cancer) has moved the needle in bringing a focus to the early detection, diagnosis and effective treatments of the cancers that often bring a fall to man.
Fortunately, the sentiment has not gone unnoticed by the opposite gender as women have taken on the challenge as well. Many have taken the month of November as an escape from the common routine of tweezing, waxing and shaving, effectively resulting in awareness of the number one cause of excess female hair, PCOS.
For those diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), a condition that causes women to grow facial hair due to an abnormally high level of androgens (male hormones), the weight of whether or not to remove the facial hair and partake in the weekly or daily grooming habits of staying clean-shaven can be struggle on the soul at times.
Whether the fight is against potentially terminal diseases the likes of prostate cancer, as well as other male cancers, or against social phobias such as completely content bearded women, it’s quite clear that Movember has taken it’s place among the great gimmicks of our times that have brought social awareness to the ills of the world.
Note: This article was featured in The Prospector Winter 2014 print edition.