Junior Sidd Chandra is what most would consider a committed Mo Bro, or participant in Movember. On November first of the past three years, Chandra has joined a global community of men in supporting men’s health. In solidarity with that community, Chandra has taken a month-long pledge to abstain from shaving. Three weeks into Movember, Chandra’s facial hair is starting to take over, growing into a full-fledged beard.
“There are a lot of awareness efforts around female cancer issues like breast cancer for example, but a lot of people don’t necessarily know about many of the men’s health issues like prostate cancer or testicular cancer. Movember is a way for guys all around the world to stand together and create much needed awareness and discussion about men’s health issues,” said Sid as he scratched his beard.
Movember has become an international phenomenon, growing from a thirty-man initiative in Australia during 2004 to a movement of millions. The originators of Movember, following its launch to popularity, founded the Movember Foundation to coordinate the movement. According to the Movember Foundation, Movember
“challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember (formerly known as November), to spark conversation and raise vital funds for men’s health programs.” To date, Mo Bros around the world have raised $559 million and funded over 800 men’s health programs in 21 countries. Last year the Movember Foundation raised $22.3 million. Quantitatively, Movember has had a significant impact on awareness of men’s health issues. 75% of Mo Bros claim to have been more aware of the health risks they face after part in Movember, while 62% say they went to see a medical professional, and 50% reportedly told someone they should take action to improve their health.
According to Chandra, Movember has caught on with a lot of students across all grades. Michael Nicol, a senior with formidable mutton chops, said, “I participate in Movember because I think particular attention needs to be called to men’s cancer, but a lot of people just participate in No-Shave-November, which supports the cancer discussion in general.” Nicol went on to say that many people confuse No-Shave-November with Movember, two very different events. No-Shave-November asks people not to remove any hair in support of the many cancer patients who lose their hair during treatment, while Movember focuses specifically on men’s health issues.
Sidd and Michael are just two members of a growing Shanghai Mo Bro community. Jacques, the manager at the popular French restaurant, La Creperie, located in the French Concession has been sporting a classic handlebar for about two weeks now. He has also printed new place cards for each table, advertising Movember and encouraging diners to join. According to Jacques, “I am a man, or at least I hope so, and I could have any one of these health complications in a second. It’s important for me to educate myself about these sorts of things, but also for me to support men everywhere who are going through a health complication.”
Written by Prashanth