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celebrate movember!

November 2nd, 2007     by Thea Lim     Comments

Exhibit A: Tom Selleck, Moustache Wearer

One thing that really gives me the willies: when the men in my everyday life suddenly and without warning change their facial hair. I have to say I might’ve yelped just slightly when I walked into the office this morning, and found my normally hairy co-worker bald-faced at his desk.

But to my surprise, he explained to me that he’s gone Nekkid Face for a good cause: Movember.

From the Movember website: Movember (the month formally known as November) is a charity event held during November each year.

At the start of Movember guys register with a clean shaven face. The Movember participants known as Mo Bros then have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their moustache and along the way raise as much money and awareness about male health issues as possible.

While I’m not crazy about some of the rhetoric used around men and women on Movember’s site, (For e.g. the suggestion that women can support Movember by adding their feminine touch…) what interested me about Movember is its suggestion that gender conditioning and gender roles form a huge barrier to men’s health.

…Men are far less healthy than women. The average life expectancy for men is five years less than women (presently 77 compared to 82).

Of the 15 leading causes of death among Canadians, men lead women in 14 of the causes. Men are 30% more likely to get cancer, than women, and 55% more likely to die from it. Men’s suicide rate is four times higher than that of women. The obvious question is why?…Part of the problem is an attitude of having to be tough, a “real man” and men’s reluctance to see a doctor about an illness or to go for regular medical checks. The aim of Movember is to change this attitude…

That’s right fellas, this Movember it’s your chance to buck those oppressive gender roles and wear your corporeal vunerability on your face! Or uh, maybe shave it from your face? In any case, this is one cause that I’m willing to stomach the willies for…

Tags: activist report, body politics

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