Must not shave: A movember story

Graphic by Jennifer Kwan

My role models are Ron Burgundy and Ron Swanson, so when Movember rolled around this year, I decided to commit to the cause. I tried growing out a ‘stache last November, but four days in, I caved and shaved it. Not this year! It has been more than a week and I’m sporting the bare minimum of what could be considered a moustache. The thought of shaving it off does cross my mind after every glance in the mirror. I had never grown one out fully but surely it would be epic, wouldn’t it?

I had no idea how tedious, annoying and painful shaving everyday would be. My face feels as though it was brushed with sandpaper and it is taking my entire being to not “accidentally” shave it off. Shaving on a daily basis requires an earlier-than-usual wake-up call and a ton of aftershave, but the end result is the manliest of bonding experiences. When I bump into a fellow Movemberer, a “nice ‘stache” is all that needs to be said.

I made peace with the fact that I would encounter many disgusted looks from the ladies this month, but women have been insanely supportive of Movember. It may not be the most attractive and acceptable look year round, but most women are on board with upper lip facial hair for a month.

Movember is also kind of a manliness competition. One of my friends had a full moustache after a week — I was nowhere close to that. Does that make me insecure about my manhood? Damn sure it does. Do I feel like Tom Selleck when I see a guy with less facial hair than me? Absolutely.

According to the Movember website, this year’s movement has generated more than $32 million in donations, with Canada leading the pack with $11.3 million. The fact that I haven’t raised any funds for the work I’ve put in so far doesn’t bother me. When the vast majority of my guy friends are growing out their moustaches, funding each other would mean financial bankruptcy. So I’m counting on a few generous donations from my family.

While raising awareness and money for prostate cancer is the whole point of Movember, it has become more than just that. The best part of Movember is the overwhelming support that we give one another through a simple moustache. So, men, do the manly thing and grow a moustache for cancer. See you out there moustache brothers!


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