Fight Prostate Cancer by Growing a Mustache: The 2010 Movember Contest

by Brett & Kate McKay on October 22, 2010 · 66 comments

in Blog

Every time I turn on a football game, I see players with pink shoelaces and pink gloves and pink towels, all promoting breast cancer awareness. This year the White House was bathed in pink light and even the fire trucks in my town got painted pink for the cause. Now I’m all for saving the world’s wonderful tata’s, but men have a cancer all of their own, and it unfortunately doesn’t get quite as much attention (I guess nobody wants to think about a guy’s junk when they’re peeling off the top of their yogurt.)

But Movember is an effort to change that. Started in 2003, Movember is an annual, month-long celebration of the mustache, highlighting men’s health issues – specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and male depression. During the month of November, men grow a mustache and raise funds for charities like the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LIVESTRONG).

We’re going to be celebrating Movember here on the Art of Manliness website by inviting readers to grow a mo during the month of November. Last year the AoM Movember team raised over $8,000! I think we can double that this year. Ready to join us in the fight against prostate cancer? Here’s what to do.

How the Contest Works:

1. Awesomely manly Aussie and Movember veteran Shaun Daws has started an Art of Manliness team on the Movember site. As team captain, he’ll be keeping an eye on the leader board and encouraging you along.

To join the Art of Manliness team, you must register on the Movember site. You must register as a “team member” so we can keep track of your progress. You can register for the AoM Movember team by clicking on one of the following links depending on where you live.

2. On November 1, you must start out clean shaven. You will then commence the growing of your beautiful, hairy mustache masterpiece. You cannot shave your mo until Nov. 30, and you must adhere to the following grooming rules:

  • There is to be no joining of the Mo at the sideburns – that’s a beard
  • There is to be no joining of the handlebars at the chin – that’s a goatee
  • A small complimentary growth under the chin is allowed (aka The Tickler)

3. During the month, hit up friends and family to donate to the cause. Raise as much money as you can!

4. Shaun has created a Movember Group in the Art of Manliness Community. Join the group and encourage your brothers. Shaun will be posting news, pictures, and updates, and you should do likewise. Let everyone see how your stache is progressing!

5. If you don’t have the cojones to grow a mustache (or if you don’t have cojones, period) you can still donate to the AoM Movember Team.

Men, this is your big chance to grow the mustache you’ve always dreamed of having but been too scared to attempt. The beauty of Movember is that during the early growing stage, the stage where the newly formed mustache’s appearance is so unsightly that men give up and shave, you have a ready and worthy excuse for why you look like a child molester. People will not only abstain from laughing at you, men will pat you on the back and women will french kiss you with joy. Then, at the end of the month, when the awesomeness of your stache is in full bloom, people will be in such awe of your cookie duster that they will beg you not to shave it off. It’s win-win here, folks.

Speaking of winning, finally having the manly mustache of your dreams is not the only prize. The Art of Manliness team member who raises the most money will be richly rewarded for the effort with awesomely manly booty:

Runner-Up: An Art of Manliness T-Shirt

The first runner-up will get to select a shirt from one of our 13 manly t-shirt designs.

The Grand Prize: Saddleback Leather Company Dopp Kit + Classic Shaving Gear

The AoM Movember Team Member who raises the most money will receive a handsome chestnut, medium sized  Saddleback Leather Dopp Kit. A big thank you to Saddleback Leather Company for kindly donating this handsome travel case!

This is a great prize in and of itself. But that’s not all. Packed inside this uber-manly dopp kit will be:

A Merkur Safety Razor


A Badger Hair Shaving Brush


Taylor of Bond Street Shaving Cream


A Signed Copy of the Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man


One awesome bag of manliness!

So get those mustaches growing men! Do it for the cause! Do it for the prize-packed travel case! Do it for the chance to finally grow the mustache of your dreams!

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Blake October 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Start clean shaven? Bummer! All I have to do is shave my beard and voilà! Musatache!

2 Darnell Clayton October 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Sounds fun, but I’ll have to decline. My face looks horrible with a mustache! Keeping it real with a goatee! :-P

Either way let me know when the competition starts! :-)

3 Ryan Tyler October 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I hope this means a post on mustache grooming is to follow.

4 Jeremy Putman October 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I’m in!

Did I read Brett correctly…tatas?

5 Matthew Poertner October 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I hate the term “tatas” too but its widely used and one of the least offensive terms I can think of. Just my 2 cents…

6 Steve Harrington October 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I think I am going to give this a go! I’ve always wanted to grow a stache and was indeed wary of the social response, so this is a good way to try it out for a good cause.

I believe with the “tata’s” Brett is simply parroting the breast cancer awareness movement’s own slogans, one of which is “save the tata’s.” I have a friend who has shirt that says that. Tata’s is pretty innocuous in my book.

7 chesh October 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Movember is discriminatory against men who already have moustaches.
Or, as we say, “Curses! Foiled again!”

8 Alethea October 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Must be an american ad campaign – I haven’t seen it. Women-related ad campaigns are capable of a lack of class too. “Least offensive” doesn’t mean good.

That said, I can understand why he said it now. I wish he just explained that instead of deleting my comments objecting to it.

9 J D Armstrong October 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I will agree with chesh . .. “Curses! Foiled again!” I am in full support of this but I just can’t seem to shave my ‘stache. I have spent too much time growing and feeding it to get where I am today. Oh well, good luck to everyone in the running. I would be happy to answer any questions regarding ‘stache care as I have learned a lot having ‘stache for about two years now.

10 Nicholas Keene October 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Wow, this needs to be posted at Stacheforge. I will make that happen.

11 Andrew October 22, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I would definitely do this if I was not in job search mode. The first few weeks of my mustache are very creepy. And I have a feeling job interviews with a creepy mustache wouldn’t go over to well. I will definitely still donate money to the AoM team though!

12 Allen October 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I can’t grow a moustache.


13 Witka October 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Can’t i join the competition if i am in South America?

14 Russell October 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

This campaign is derogatory to moustaches! Growing a moustache for charity makes it seem trivial, like having a bath full of baked beans (people do that to raise money in the UK, not sure about the US), and it is so much more. Also, I don’t grow a moustache when the MAN tells me to. I’ve got a nice moustache right now but I might just shave it off before the end of the month.

15 Aniss October 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Hey, great idea. It has been a long time I was looking fir an excuse to grow a mustache. But there is no club in France, should I join the uk one?

16 Hondo October 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm


Nice to see someone acknowledging something other than breast cancer. Prostate cancer in particular is a very real and dangerous threat to men of all ages but especially men past the age of 40. Regrettably a 40 year old man’s poop shoot isn’t nearly as marketable as a nice par of ta-tas (yeah I said it, lighten up) so the “Save the ***holes” campaign never took off. Job well done sir.

17 Will October 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm

What the heck–sounds like a worthy cause! Count me in!

18 Daniel October 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I agree, it’s nice to finally see something besides the media hog washed breast cancer. It’s not surprising that the sex driven media get behind a breast cancer rally. Let’s not forget however, melanoma is the most underfunded, but most deadly cancer out there people. Hopefully one day they can do a “check your moles, and your holes” campaign lol!

19 Brian Davis October 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I would love to do this, but I’m 19 and have never tried to grow a mustache before, so I’m not sure how well I could grow one. But, a chance to win that shaving kit and raise money for prostate cancer awareness does sound awesome.

November is also NaNoWriMo and no shave November, but this sounds like a much better cause.

20 Mackenzie October 23, 2010 at 3:09 am

I thought breast cancer could affect men as well (although it is a primarily female disease). You know, because I always think of the armour piece, ‘breastplate’…?

21 BUGSIE October 23, 2010 at 8:15 am

Ray,does the beard count,Bugsie

22 Jeb Raitt October 23, 2010 at 8:28 am

I’ve worn a handlebar moustache for several years. It took me too long to grow it to a trainable length to sacrifice it. And I ALREADY have a beard, so it seems I’m off the field for this game.

23 Jeb Raitt October 23, 2010 at 8:29 am

Mackenzie: Breast cancer does occasionally affect men, but it’s rare.

24 TMH October 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

I’m thinking why the heck not !

25 Jett Utah Watson October 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

I am in. I hate growing out my facial hair, but it’s a very good reason. Here’s to hoping I can actually grow one!

26 James Thompson October 23, 2010 at 11:10 am

I’m in! I started the team “Mo Better Bankers” in Halifax, Nova Scotia. My stache will eclipse that of Tom Selleck.

27 Brent October 23, 2010 at 12:26 pm

What a crock. I’m not about to shave my mustache and leave my soul patch and goatee nor shave them either. This is a really stupid contest unless you’re main goal is to sell your advertisers products to people who don’t normally have a mustache. Good one AoM, you’re falling into the same trap of raising money for good causes that doesn’t benefit them in anyway, just like the pink crap that does nothing to further research but does plenty to line plenty pockets in “administrative fees”.

28 Emad October 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Not sure I can do a mustache all month while attending job interviews. I can definitely shave the beard or goatee into one for the gala though :/

29 Gina October 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm

I am ALL for cancer awareness, but it is quite sad that we must sexualize absolutely everything that has to do with women…has anyone seen prostrate cancer shirts, buttons, or bumper stickers that say “save the packages”? I havent.

I will point out that for specifically male types of cancers (prostate) we get phrases like “LIVE STRONG”…not ‘save third base.’ I agree awareness is key and I understand the medical aspect of educating men about the current risks. However, I believe the reason that the reason society doesn’t talk about men’s cancer isn’t due to “shyness”; but rather a hesitancy to sexualize the male reproductive organ or view the anatomical site in a way that only mirrors its importance in respect to sexual activity (i.e save third base, save the ta-tas).

30 Richard Smith October 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I get grumpy about this every October. Maybe there should just be a “Cancer Awareness Month”, instead of a “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”. There are more cases of prostate cancer than breast cancer each year; more cases of skin cancer than breast cancer in women each year. So, why does breast cancer get so much attention? Let’s be fair about this. We just need to find a cure for cancer, without playing favorites.


Breast Cancer Statistics

Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women. For more information, visit Cancer Among Women.

In 2006 (the most recent year numbers are available)—
* 191,410 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.*†
* 40,820 women died from breast cancer.*†

†Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at:

*Note: Incidence counts cover approximately 96% of the U.S. population and death counts cover 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution in comparing incidence and death counts.



Prostate Cancer Statistics

Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. In 2006 (the most recent year for which numbers are available)—

* 203,415 men developed prostate cancer.
* 28,372 men died from prostate cancer.

Among men in the United States, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men of all races and Hispanic origin populations. It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races and Hispanic origin populations. For more information, visit Cancer Among Men.

Data source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at:


Count me in! (Even though wife might complain… ;-) )

31 London October 24, 2010 at 10:58 am

I’m participating in No Shave November for the same cause, so I’ll be clean-shaven November 1st, and won’t touch a razor until the 30th. So goatee, sideburns, whatever may come will stay.

32 RJ October 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm

That’s a good cause, and what a great prize from the guys at Saddleback! I was just thinking of buying one of their dopp kit / travel bags. Naturally, the AoM stamp of approval is one more reason to get one. I hate to be a shill for anybody, but I admit I wish I had enough disposable income to buy loads of stuff from Saddleback, and not just for superficial reasons.

I think about some of the stuff I have and the way I live, and how those are derivative of what I learned from my forebears. I like to think that some day, my son or grandson might have my old dopp kit (or my old Gillete, which is quite similar to the Merkur being offered here) or a few other things which are a part of my life today. Having that bag from Saddleback would be just one more wonderful old thing I could pass on.

Otherwise, I’ve already got a mustache which took entirely too long to grow in the first place. Keeping it tidy and trimmed has since become such a part of my daily grooming that I wouldn’t know what to do without it. I’m afraid I simply can’t go full monty with the razor, but I do support the cause of raising money for prostate cancer research.

33 conan October 25, 2010 at 10:59 am

getting ‘tashed up’ as we speak

34 Ryan October 25, 2010 at 11:20 am

Dear Everyone on the planet,

Unless I am out of the loop on his dastardly scheme, Brett didn’t’ manufacture, propagate, or eroticize the breast cancer awareness movement or their slogans. Go join NOW if you just need something asinine to be pissed off about. And if you don’t want to do this or LIVESTRONG, or the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (which I wasn’t aware was all about “lining pockets” was it?), then just…hell…don’t.

And I have a feeling that if that accursed “ta-tas” tagline weren’t hanging around, there would be a million people up in arms about why the color has to be pink? Women like blue and green and all other colors! This is exactly the kind of gender stereotyping that is poisoning this country and blah blah blah.

I for one say well done Brett and Kate, per usual. For being socially and ethically conscious enough to use your platform and the loyalty of your readers to further causes that benefit the greater good, and give hope of a better life to our posterity.

Soapbox, descended.

35 james pressley October 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Why would I shave my moustache in order to start another one???

This is a great idea but one IMO with poor planning. No man with a moustache (especially a handle bar like mine) wants to start over.

36 Kyle F. October 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

These guys whining about how they already have a mustache so they can’t take part need to man the hell up. You’re doing it to raise money for charity! Doing things for charity is not necessarily supposed to be easy or convenient. Sometimes it involves sacrifice. I’m taking part because my grandfather died of prostate cancer. Do you think that was convenient for him?? Grow the hell up.

37 Red October 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm

One reason I respect that Mr. Jimmy McMillan from The Rent Is Too Damn High Party in NY is because he ain’t afraid to wear a real mustache. Hell we need more politicians that aren’t trying to look like little boys.

38 mete October 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm

If one is to look at world wide causes of death, breast cancer causes 0.84% of all deaths while, prostate cancer 0.47% of all deaths.

Lifetime risk for a man to develop prostate cancer is 16%, lifetime risk for a woman to develop breast cancer is about 13%, one could conclude that prostate cancer is just as common as breast cancer but half as deadly, but prostate cancer doesn’t get half as much attention as breast cancer.

39 Steven October 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Wooo!! No shave november!!

40 Bryan October 25, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Wondering which is more appropriate to join, the US or Canadian team? I’m an American studying in Canada at the moment. Will friends or family in a country other than the one I register for have trouble making donations (e.g. If I join the AOM USA group, will my Canadian friends have difficulty donating?).

41 Robert October 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I am all for AoM’s efforts around Movemeber. Prostate cancer is a very important issue and one that does not get a lot of attention. However I am a little put off by people jumping on the the breast cancer movement.

Breast cancer is also a very important issue and one that before the modern breast cancer awareness movement was not very prominent in most people’s minds despite the scale of its impact. The breast cance awareness movement should be held up as a model for prostate cancer awareness not cast as a media hog.

Brett, I do not believe that it was your intention to do so in your comments but I see many of the comments as disturbingly dismissing of breast cancer.

42 Guy October 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Hey Brett I salute you for coming up with the idea and working to bring men’s health issue’s to light while coming up with a fun contest!

43 Hondo October 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm


I don’t believe anyone is dismissive of breast cancer, my own mother is a survivor so I least of any would be dismissive, that said I think people are mentally exhausted at being absolutely innundated with it. When something becomes a culture devouring monstrosity like the breast cancer movement or the “Green” movement it starts to feel less like “a good cause” and more like political propaganda this often turns people off. Those of us old enough probably remember similar movements with the hole in the ozone and save the rain forrest movements back 20 or 25 years ago.

44 Silvina October 27, 2010 at 1:22 am

Well, not only this pink thing turns into propaganda..ironically, the companies that benefit from it are the ones using products that increase the risk of cancer (chemicals in cosmetics, anyone??) or that are trying to silence any info or scientific study showing the connection between abortion and the increase of breast cancer, because it is not PC… (Susan Komen comes to mind) …

45 Greg October 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Good Lord, some people on this site need to relax. Who could possibly have a problem with this contest. It is just a fun thing to do to raise money for a good cause. Seriously? And to the people that already have moustaches, Yaaaay!! Don’t enter… who cares?

46 Zach Rizzi October 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Man, that’s a nice shave kit. My girlfriend told me she’d probably leave me if I grew another MOvember stache.. I don’t know, it might be worth it…

47 Bradley October 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I think this means we need a primer post in the next couple days to discuss different styles of moustaches, and which will fit my face better, similar to the one for blazers recently. Going for a handlebar is great, but there’s not everybody can keep the same clean-cun and dignified look with one. Moustache style education post. . . GO!

48 Steve October 28, 2010 at 8:46 pm

If I shaved my beard off right now my mustache would be Miami Vice worthy.

49 Lance October 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Even though Texas is much manlier than San Francisco, you MUST be rooting for the Giants and their FEAR THE BEARD!!!

50 Thor October 29, 2010 at 10:28 am

I’ve been growing out a moustache for the last two months, but I still have little more than peach fuzz. I guess that’s what I get for being sixteen.

51 Sam October 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I’ve so far convinced 9 other chaps in my office to join me this year. I’m the only one of them who already has a moustache (and beard), so they’re most interested in seeing what I actually look like underneath come Monday morning!

It’s a great cause (to those who are actually arguing about that point – seriously, take a step back), and we’ve registered under the team name Mo Bros Handle Bars on the UK site, otherwise I’d have joined the AoM UK site.


52 Matt McKinney October 29, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Does it have to be a mustache to be entered for the prize? or is it just the member who raises the most money regardless of the ‘stache?
I’m down for beard growth.

53 Chris October 30, 2010 at 1:12 am

I’m sacrificing a months worth of wifely attention but it’s for a good cause so, I’m in!

Come on you Aussie blokes, let’s leave those northern hemispherians in the dust!

54 Matt October 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Hope this doesn’t burst too many bubbles, but SEPTEMBER is already Prostate Cancer Awareness month.

I like the idea, but we really can’t start it in reaction to Breast Cancer Awareness month when we already have a month. Next year let’s be more organized. The Boob Brigade has been on top of their game for a while. It’s time we get our act together. Should all those governors move PCA Month to November just because we dropped the ball last month? Meh, I’ve got a beard either way. Skin is in, but hair is there!

55 Chris M October 31, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Ehh…I get this wicked skin flaking whenever I grow a mustache. It comes off in chunks!
But I will try to get some $$$ together. :)

56 Stan V October 31, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Along with growing facial hair for a good cause, I would recommend The Moustache Calendar, who’s working in collaboration with Movember:

These particular gentlemen seem to all have desirable moustaches. As a moustache fan, I purchased the calendar and am really excited to view these artistic endeavors for the year to come.

Personally, I think that whatever the amount of facial hair you want to grow (beard or moustache), it’s the action that we put into it and the change we can create. All in good ways, of course.

57 Neil Stanley October 31, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Right …

I’m all signed up and ready to go!

58 Duane Thrutchley November 1, 2010 at 7:59 am

I’m in … have to shave my beard…great cause… big family history of Prostate CA here.. got me 4 yrs ago…

59 Scott Wertel November 1, 2010 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the motivation. I was actually at a Halloween party and one of the other guests does this annually. I joined his local team and you can find me at Is there a network we can join to link up with The Art of Manliness?

60 Matt Jenner November 1, 2010 at 11:39 am

What if I already have a sweet mustache?

61 Garry Hall November 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Awesome! I’ve already signed up and joined the AoM Movember team!

62 Ang November 6, 2010 at 5:34 am

Good luck to all of the manly men participating!! Women all across the US support you. I’m donating to my Greek men on my college campus in support of the cause. Stay classy, especially with the stache. xx

63 Neil Stanley November 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I’ve got some pleasing publicity for my own tache.

64 Will November 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I started growing my mo and raising money on November 1. So far, I’ve raised almost $700, and have no doubt I’ll pass the $1000 mark. I’ve also been the butt of lots of good-natured ribbing about how slowly it’s coming in. But I don’t care–I’m growing my mo for a great cause!

65 Dee November 20, 2010 at 3:39 am

A great idea although a majority of men aren’t taking part in supporting their own. I guess they insist on the SMOOTH look… I suppose those dudes prefer the “after treatment” look opposed to the “prevention” look. Any bit to find a cure helps! (as with any type of cancer!)

66 SakuraLily December 27, 2012 at 3:51 am

I wish November was year around. I’m a girl who adores men with mustaches! I hate clean shaven look on men. What can I say, hairy men are masculine and sexy. Give me Vlad (Dracula) the Impaler over Edward Sparklepire any day! Give me Selleck and Sharif over these pretty boys of today! I want a man not a little boy. Besides mustaches I cringe at commercials of men shaving their chest. The media has demasculinized men. But hey, it’s whatever. I’m sure there’s a handsome hairy man that stands out from the rest who wants a tiny Latina girl to cuddle up and snuggle with. <3 I'll stay patient as I know he's out there waiting for me. :D

That being said about my personal tastes, I must say that I like this idea better than that stupid "I love boobies" save the tatas! BullSh!y!t. I hate that crap so much. Mammary cancer is serious and this s*it that they do for it is a laugh..

Go MEN! Your cause is more noble than ours…sadly.

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