‘Did he had a (Movember) moustache, long hair and a Hawaii shirt,’ asks the Dutch girl when we talk about Australian men. She’s describing the typical Australian guy. ‘Eh, yes, I thinks so,’ I said. I hadn’t really thought about it. Australia feels a little bit different than Europe – not only because it’s almost Christmas and warm – but mainly because people, men in particular, look a bit different.
Moustache of Movember
I’m not sure why there are more men with a moustache in Australia. Would it be because of Movember? Movember a Melbourne-based foundation, promotes to let the moustache grow in November to raise money for prostate cancer.
They just love the moustache
Movember started as a joke when two friends (Travis Garone and Luke Slattery) met in a bar in Melbourne – I’m in Melbourne right now. This was in 2003. They really liked a moustache of a common friend and challenged thirty friends to get a moustache as well. It was nothing more than a gentlemen’s agreement to see who could grow the best one. The moustache had all but disappeared from fashion trends back then.
The next level
In 2004 they take it to the next level and want to raise money for prostate cancer, the most common cancer for men. And the rest is history, the moustache is back in fashion more than ten years later, but only in Australia. I don’t have the feeling there is another place in the world where I’ve seen so much moustaches on the street as in Australia.
Room for improvement
While the owner of Movember stills sees room for improvement in Australia – there are still men without a moustache in Australia – I would argue that the people that like the moustache already have one. But there is definitely room for improvement in other parts of the world.
Movember in Europe and the United States
And that’s what they are trying, growing in other parts of the world. The foundation is now in Europe and the United States, but it’s far from what the movement is in Australia. In the Netherlands it’s small and people don’t let the moustache grow, they run for the foundation. In the United States the last campaign failed, but they keep on trying.
It has to be the moustache-challenge
It’s good they are abroad, but the joke is that you actually have a moustache and then have to explain to people why you do it. Running events in the Netherlands, is not the same. I bet that most of your friends will support you than when you just running on a Sunday morning. There is nothing wrong with running, but it’s not the same thing.
Would I like more moustaches in the street?
Would I love the moustache? Well, to be honest, the moustache feels like going back in time. To the sixties of seventies, the time of YMCA of the Village People. The song is released in November – what a coincidence – in 1978. Half of the band has a moustache. Most men look like that, sorry, but I don’t really like it.
I like the joke
But I think you would have joined the challenge if I was a man. That’s a little bit sad about the campaign, only men can do it. Half of the world has to watch and cannot raise money by not shaving, but still, it’s for a good cause and it’s fun.
Why is it only popular in down under?
I wonder why men in the United States and Europe don’t want to keep their moustache. They might not like it – like me, maybe it’s the European taste. And a lot of people might not know the tradition. They really have to work on their campaign. There are posters everywhere in Melbourne to promote Movember, but I never seen a poster or campaign of Movember in Europe or elsewhere in the world.
More moustache in Movember
I hope they will succeed in more Movember – more moustache – in the world. I wouldn’t mind a month in the year with more moustaches in the street, but men, please, then it’s time to shave and celebrate Christmas without it. O, and the long hair and Hawaii shirt are not necessary at all.