For some brave men out there, November is renamed Movember, and they grow a moustache for a whole month. The idea is to create a very visible reminder, and raise some awareness and money for a worthy cause: The fight against prostate cancer.
... And in a bit more depth...
Moustaches are very out of fashion at the moment - so much so, in fact, that whenever you see someone you know with one, you notice it. Movember banks on that reaction, and encourages men to grow their moustaches for a whole month - in Movember, of course - to raise awareness for their chosen cause.
The Movember movement started in Australia in the late 90's, and was aimed at raising money and awareness for men's health issues.
Prostate Cancer, as far as cancers go, is a relatively nasty one. Not that most cancers are flutterbies and kittens, but due to the prostate gland's location (the only way you can feel it properly, is to stick a finger up your bum), it's one of those cancers that usually aren't noticed until it's too late.
So why is this so effective?
Well, take myself as an example. I normally go around with anything between 1- and 10-day stubble, before I buzz my facial hair short again - never really shaping or sculpting it. In fact, I don't think anyone but myself has ever seen me with a moustache - and there's an excellent reason for that: I look like a 1980's throw-back child molester. But this year, I'm participating in Movember, which means that for the whole month of November, I'll be growing a mo.
Only 7 days have passed so far, and already I look like an absolute idiot - but that's sort of part of the point: The fact that this little bush of hair sits in the middle of your face means that it becomes nigh-on impossible not to notice. Such random behaviour causes conversations, and conversations are exactly how awareness is raised - and, hopefully, with a fair few drunken pledges in the pub - how some money is raised, too.
Want to help?
There are three ways you can help. First off, go and read anthropod's excellent node on prostate cancer. Hell, go read the wikipedia entry, too. Second, join the fun - when November rolls around, go for a close shave, and let it grow (Remember, you don't choose what your moustache will look like. It will choose you). Finally, you can sponsor a participant of Movember - if one of your friends suddenly starts sprouting a ridiculous 'tache, ask them how you can donate a few yen, pounds, dollars, or zloty. Every little helps, after all.
(if you want to see pictures from my effort (oh dear) or donate to charity on my behalf, check out http://kamps.org/haje/movember-2008/ .)
Excalibur sez - I just donated because I have to respect how terrible that looks. It's just awful. So I guess this is a good marketing method.
sharq replies - Aw, thanks for your donation! And yes, I'm totally going for that angle. People at work are not allowed to make fun of me until they've donated.