As November quickly approaches, men everywhere are throwing away their razors and gearing up to let it grow. To some, it’s known as No Shave November; to others, it’s known as Movember. Women often even call it No Kiss November. No matter what you call it, by the end of November, we will see more facial hair than any other month of the year.
So how did this month of unshaven chins and upper lips come about? It started with Movember. The term Movember was originally coined in 1999 by a group of 80 men in South Australia to raise money for charity. But in 2004, the idea really took off with a group of 30 men who decided to grow mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression in men. This turned into the Movember Foundation Charity, which has now raised $645 million worldwide and has grown to support prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.
Out of Movember derived No Shave November, which (despite popular belief) is not just an excuse to give up the hassle of shaving for a month. However, a difference exists between the two. Movember is mustaches only. No Shave November is exactly what it states – no shaving. At all. No Shave November raises funds to benefit cancer prevention, research and education. The idea is to donate the money you would normally spend on shaving.
Keep in mind, this started in the early years of Facebook (and MySpace was only good for garage bands – sort of), so how did this turn into a worldwide phenomenon?
Basically, word of mouth. It was contained in Australia until 2006 when it became an official charity and launched in New Zealand. It began to partner with other well-known charities in 2006 and 2007 and spread to other countries, including the U.S. It continued with these strategies and has now become a worldwide phenomenon.
While social media may be the easiest, most inexpensive and quite possibly the most effective modern technology for public relations, remember that it’s not the only way to launch a campaign. It’s more than just having the most followers in the quickest way possible. That’s a good way to burn out. Developing and maintaining positive relationships with similar organizations is invaluable to creating a successful campaign. And it has proven true for the Movember Foundation as it continues to grow each year.
So gentlemen, let those mustaches grow, and ladies, fundraise for your men. I mean come on, how can you resist a man with a mustache?