Movember Movement – A Step Towards Supporting Men’s Health

Movember movement

Movember movement

We have had the Ice Bucket challenge recently. Now India is joining the Movember movement. This is a movement, when in the month of November men proudly sport a moustache – For a cause.  November from now on will be known as Movember, when a moustache growing charity event is held to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. It is awareness about diseases peculiar to men, like prostate cancer and testicular cancer. This movement started in Australia in the year 2004.

In the month of November (Oh!! Now it is Movember), men are supposed to carefully groom their moustache, not to flaunt machismo, but to create an awareness about the sexual health of men.  Bill McIntyre, an organizer, says, “Clean shaven guys called ‘Mo Bros’ register at on November 1 and then for the rest of the month they groom, trim and wax their moustache. They become walking, talking billboards for 30 days, and through their actions and words raise awareness on men’s health, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and depression. At the end of the month, there is a gala party.”

Awareness about men’s sexual health is very low. This is the reason why, by the time the patients reach the doctor, they are suffering from end stage cancers like those of prostate and testicular. An awareness campaign is also required to encourage men with sexual dysfunctional problems, because at the end of the day, Men will be Men, and shy away from such problems. This causes marital discord and distress. Dr Sameer Malhotra, head of clinical psychiatry and psychotherapy department at Fortis Healthcare, says, “People tend to slip into depression. Only 10-20% of such patients suffering from sexual dysfunction visit the doctor because they do not think it’s a disease,” said Malhotra.

The aim

The aim of the Ice Bucket challenge was to raise funds for people suffering from ALS in the United States. The Indians participated with full enthusiasm and the social networks were full of people sharing videos of getting drenched in ice water and cubes. But not many ended the video with a donation for the said cause. Most of them were doing it just for the sake of fun. There was a view point then, that India itself has so many problems, so why accept a challenge or donate for a cause for another country. However, Movember surely is a cause which will benefit the Indian men. However, it is just not enough to accept the challenge of growing a moustache. It is also required for the participants to make a donation for the cause, no matter how small.

The fun quotient

Yes, Movember is the month when all the men participating sport a well-groomed moustache. There are many styles, ranging from Dali style to Toothbrush to Horseshoe to Handlebar.  But the fun factor in this is that in Hollywood, some of the celebrity women also sport a moustache, albeit a false one, to join in the cause. In fact, many of them nail the moustache look better than men, with an oomph factor. In the US, competitions are held and prizes given away to maximum contributions by individuals.  There are official sites for moustache style guidance too. In India, the movement is still picking up pace and it will take some time before such competitions are held. However, Movember is a big hit with the social media. Though no celebrities have yet joined in, it is early days yet. Girls can contribute towards the Movember movement too, by encouraging their friends, boyfriends, husbands or sons to grow a mooch and, of course, by making a donation towards the cause. They can pitch in their creativity towards new ideas for the success of this movement. They can spread the word among their friends about men’s health, invite them home for a get-together or party.


Growing a moustache is just symbolic of the changing face of men’s health, a step towards awareness and a means to raise funds so that men suffering from problems related to the male sex can be treated. It is a very important step as men who hide problems have the encouragement to come out and seek treatment. It is indeed a positive step towards a healthier future, but one must remember that it is not all fun and games.

It is a fun activity taken towards a broader and a more serious perspective. So unlike the Ice Bucket Challenge where people were just joining the bandwagon for the sake of amusement, when men or women participate in the Movember challenge, they should be conscious of the real reason behind this movement and contribute towards the treatment of sexual diseases of men. Promoting Movember in our country makes sense as many Indian men turn a blind eye about their own health.

“In other countries Movember is observed to help men reduce stress and take better care of themselves, but in India it should be promoted to drive home the fact that men’s health has been nobody’s business, men included,” says Robin, an IT professional from Mumbai. So let us spread the awareness through this fun challenge for a healthier future for the men of India.

It’s time for a better tomorrow.