By Simon Manuel
Let’s face it: moustaches look ridiculous. Think of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat or Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy. Want to make someone laugh? Grow a moustache.
So why are so many Kingston students wandering around looking like Tom Sellick impersonators?
The reason is Movember.
By growing a moustache in November, so called ‘Mo Bros’ act as walking billboards for Movember’s global campaign to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, in particular testicular and prostate cancer.
Hairy lipped students
Kingston graphic design student, Paul Nelson, has taken part in Movember for the last three years and said: “There are definitely more people doing it this year. Two years ago people didn’t understand why I was growing a moustache. Now everybody gets it.”
A Movember fundraising party at Knights Park student union last Friday was full of hairy lipped students. They were supported by ‘Mo Sistas’ sporting decorative moustaches painted on with eyeliner, showing just how popular the event has become.
Movember has “taken off this year” said Kingston information systems student Stephen Hughes.
“There are about six or seven of us on my course doing it. My housemates are too. There’s a competition on my course for who can grow the best moustache.”
The number of registered Movember supporters in the UK has more than doubled to 242,000 this year with over £7.5m having been pledged so far. Worldwide, over £33m has been raised.
However, Kingston computer science student, Ray Kathuria, wanted to reinforce the real reason behind Movember: “I feel that there is not enough awareness of men’s health. It’s overlooked. Growing a moustache is not a lot of effort for a really good cause.”
Early detection is key
Movember’s goals are highly relevant to male students. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer for 15 to 44 year olds with numbers doubling over the last 40 years. This year, over 2,000 men have been diagnosed with testicular cancer. More than 70 will die.
Early detection is the key to successful treatment of testicular cancer. Emanuel Militello, 19, a chemical engineering student at University College London was in the habit of checking himself monthly after hearing a testicular cancer awareness talk whilst still at school. It may have saved his life. After discovering a cancerous growth in April, he had immediate surgery but avoided chemotherapy. “Life could have turned out completely differently,” said Emanuel.
Donate some money to Movember by putting some cash in the box in the Knights Park student union bar or click here.
Check out The River’s online Movember gallery and tell us your favourite moustache.