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Moustache + November = Movember

I am not a man (hopefully that goes without saying), but I imagine that shaving one’s facial hair isn’t necessarily a favorite pastime. So what could be better than having a legitimate reason to go “au naturel” for a whole month? I know that for some baby-faced men out there it may not be the most exciting way to celebrate November, but for seasoned veterans like Tom Selleck there really couldn’t be a better way to stand up for one’s fellow man.

For those who don’t know, Movember is a month-long awareness and fundraising campaign for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and depression. The program originated in Australia, and now has its own web sites across the globe, with a strict set of rules for participants:

  1. Once registered at each “Mo Bro” must begin the 1st of Movember with a clean shaven face.
  2. For the entire month of Movember each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache.
  3. There is to be no joining of the moustache to your side burns. (That’s considered a beard.)
  4. There is to be no joining of the handlebars to your chin. (That’s considered a goatee.)
  5. Each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true country gentleman.

Since its inception, many have reinterpreted and expanded Movember to include “No Shave November” and “Novembeard,” but no matter how men choose to show their pride and support the cause, it’s hard to deny that Movember is one health campaign that has truly gone viral (see what I did there?). In 2010, Movember’s numbers nearly doubled across the board, with more than 440,000 new registrants (men and women—Mo Sistas) and raised funds of more than $80.7 million. Overall, the campaign has raised $174 million and has 1.1 million registrants since it was officially established in 2004. As we near the end of 2011, and the middle of Movember, the brotherhood shows no signs of slowing down.

Movember is proof that campaigns infused with humor—despite the circumstances—can help make the word a better place. So Mo Bros, get out there and flaunt your finest facial hair. Or if you can’t grow your own, there are always these Mo Sista favorites.

Think Pink

While most people associate October with pumpkins, back-to-back airings of “Casper” and “Hocus Pocus,” and clever Halloween costumes, October also happens to be National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM).

The American Cancer Society, and what is now part of AstraZeneca, established NBCAM in 1985 in an effort to increase breast cancer awareness and promote research funding. Although The Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure held its first race in 1983, it did not hand out pink ribbons to participants until 1991, and it was not until 1993 that Estee Lauder founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, introducing the Pink Ribbon as its official symbol.

Today, the Pink Ribbon means many things. Hope. Remembrance. Courage. Survival. It has become the common thread weaving its way through a number of breast cancer awareness initiatives. Here are a few campaigns that the DGC team thinks have been most effective:

  • One in eight. In 2006, Avon promoted the fight against breast cancer overseas in Romania, highlighting the fact that one in eight women is at risk of developing breast cancer. In movie theaters, subways, buses and other public seating areas, one in every eight seats was painted pink and left empty to show the significance of the statistic.
  • Takeout gets a makeover. Last year, KFC launched its controversial “Buckets for the Cure,” serving up fried chicken in pink buckets. Although the public was confused by the fast food restaurant’s connection to breast cancer awareness, KFC donated 50 cents to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for each bucket sold.
  • Real men wear pink. During NBCAM, the NFL supports breast cancer awareness by incorporating pink into its advertising and online presence. Players also sport pink apparel, showing fans that pink isn’t just for powder-puff.

There are many ways to promote breast cancer awareness successfully, but recent patient Giuliana Rancic said it best: “I had a friend call me yesterday, and she said, ‘I’m so sorry, can I do anything for you?’ And I said, ‘Just call your doctor tomorrow and make an appointment [for a mammogram]. That’s what you could do for me.’”

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