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It’s the 1st of November, and summer is well and truly upon us here in the far South. Being November, of course it also means this is Movember – the one month men around the world become heroes for sporting facial hair that would, during any other month, raise serious questions about their state of mind.

Floppy, curly, twisty, bushy, or perfectly groomed, Movember is the month for crafting your own unique moustache – as individual as your fingerprints.

According to the Movember rules, you start the month clean shaven, so herewith the month’s famous last big shave.
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The reason of growing a ‘mo’ during Movember is to help raise awareness about men’s health,  specifically prostate cancer and depression. As stated on the Movember site, “Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.”

Movember started in Australia (good on ya, mate!), and has since grown into a truly global movement, with almost 2 million participants in a wide range of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Movember aims to “change established habits and attitudes men have about their health, to educate men about the health risks they face, and to act on that knowledge, thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.”

In New Zealand, funds raised through the Movember initiative go specifically to the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

You can get involved informally, simply by not shaving your moustache for a month. However, to really go the whole nine yards, why not register through your national Movember website/forum, where you can formally commit to the challenge, and update your progress throughout the month. Different countries have their own unique sites, typically http://<your country code>.movember.com/ (simply going to www.movember.com should also redirect to your local site). Committing on such a public forum not only helps to keep you honest (to keep you from shaving your mo for that special date or meeting halfway through the month) but it also means that you officially become part of the Movember fundraising initiative. And, most importantly, you become a registered Mo Bro, part of the global Mo Brotherhood.

Of course it’s not just for men – women are also encouraged to register as ‘Mo Sistas’, in support of the men in their lives.

Day 1 – clean shaven (well, almost), and slightly worried about what this picture is going to look like in 30 days…
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To visit me, Mo Bro Gerry, drop by my Mo Space Page – I will try to update the space every so often and will also be posting updates on this blog, so let this serve as an early dubious facial hair alert.

Let the growing begin… Ready, steady, Mo! 🙂

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