Movember: the appreciation and the dread

A person I know well says: “If there’s a health concern involving women, the tables of doctors’ offices overflow with full colour, glossy brochures on the subject, and library shelves groan under the weight of the books about it. But if it’s a male issue, there might be one black-and-white photocopy, crooked on the page, dug out from under a long-forgotten pile.”

He has a point. Women’s cancers receive high-profile, year-round attention. People walk, move, and run for women’s cancers. Professional athletes wear pink shoes, catch pink footballs and shoot with pink hockey sticks. By contrast, male-related cancers get a shocking—one could say sexist—short shrift, even though the cancers are no less traumatic for the patient or devastating for the families.

That’s why Movember is so valuable.  I appreciate it and proudly support its goal of promoting awareness about prostate and testicular cancers and the related mental health challenges.

I also dread Movember.

Let’s face it. (Pun intended.) Facial hair is getting out of control. Don’t mention Duck Dynasty to me. I can’t even look at the wild beards of the Boston Red Sox. (I’m an avid baseball fan, but I couldn’t even watch this year’s World Series. All that unruly facial hair gave me the heebie-jeebies.) Now we venture into the hairiest month of them all. Many men grow much more than a moustache; their faces become canvasses for creative hairy artwork.

I’m not opposed to a well-groomed beard, and an elegant moustache suits many men, but the lost-in-the-Arctic-for-months-on-end look holds no appeal. And I worry that the purpose of Movember gets lost in the facial hair growing frenzy, like a breadcrumb in a feral beard.

I encourage you to support Movember. Please send money so they can print something better than a crooked, black-and-white photocopy. Help to solve the devastating disease that cancer is for all people.

But please, keep the facial hair trimmed. Pretty please?


Read more about Movember here:

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