BUSAN, South Korea — If you’ve been out and about this month and noticed a few Tom Selleck-inspired mustaches, don’t get too excited (or worried) that the 80s are back. What you are witnessing is men putting their money where the hair above their mouth is.
For the better part of the last two decades, on Halloween Day or ‘Shadow’een’, clean-shaven men around the world have taken a 30 day vow to not allow a razor touch their upper lip. During the month of “Movember”, men grow their moustaches to their most luscious and glorious potential in order to show support for men’s issues. The worldwide hairy challenge suitably overlaps with International Men’s Health Day, which is on the 19th of November.
The idea for Movember began in 1993 when a group of Aussies were reminiscing about the greatness of 80s style (yes, I know). From that longing for the days of yesteryear, came the idea to have an annual fundraiser where men could once again sport their ‘staches, while at the same time promoting something worthwhile.
What was conceived over a few beers has since evolved into a world-wide phenomenon. The annual event aims to increase awareness about men’s concerns such as cancer and depression, as well as raise money for the causes. On the event’s official website, movember.com, in 2009, global participation of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas raised over $42 million dollars for global beneficiary partners.
A group of participants in Busan hope to add to that total on December 3rd at HQ Bar near Kyungsung, where owners, Tom “Mutt” Locke and Andrew Gamble, agreed to host the event where patrons can participate in a raffle and win door prizes such as t-shirts bearing the Movember logo.
“Moustaches, beer, and fundraising. That’s all we needed to hear to say yes,” Mutt said.
Busan co-organizer, Andrew Murphy, likes the uniqueness and longevity of this campaign and of course, the cause.
“Where most fundraisers are only for one night or weekend, this is great because it’s an entire month,” said Murphy, who hails from Canada. “Anytime I have a little stubble on the upper lip that brings more awareness to such things as prostate cancer and overall men’s health… I'm in!”
Even though the fundraising effort is for a good cause, to actually sport the lip brow isn’t for the faint of heart, particularly in Korea.
Stephane Turcotte, co-organizer and facial hair enthusiast, has noticed varied reactions from foreigners and Koreans.
“Most foreigners recognize what we are doing and are pretty encouraging. Koreans have no idea and can’t understand why a young man would want to grow a moustache, even if it’s for charity. They equate facial hair with old guys.”
A sentiment echoed by Andrew Murphy’s girlfriend, Jung Dawoon.
“I feel like I’m dating an old man. Every time I look at him I get a little creeped out. It’ll be nice when it’s gone,” she laughed.
Though Movember promotes people who can grow facial hair, those who are folically challenged or women (aka Mo Sistas) can still show their support. Go to the official website and donate or show up on December 3rd at HQ and contribute. Support a ‘stache by giving cash!
Rules for Participants
- For the entire duration of Movember (Movember 1st – 30th inclusive), no hair shall be allowed to grow in the goatee zone – being any facial area below the bottom lip.
- There is to be no joining of the moustache to sideburns.
- Movember Committee does not accept responsibility for lost jobs, rashes, food/beer encrustments or any other such mishaps caused to the wearer (or his partner) of a Movember Moustache. You grew it yourself.