Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly implied Movember and No-Shave November were affiliated events. While both seek to increase the facial hair of the world, they are, in fact, different groups. We regret the error.
See a five o’clock shadow above your coworker’s lips today? It might not be the result of skipping a shave — Tuesday marks the start of No Shave November and Movember, in which men let their facial hair flourish to raise awareness for prostate cancer.
“Mo Bros,” as they’re called, register on movember.com, where they pledge to forsake razors for the month, and find sponsors to donate money for prostate cancer research on their behalf. They’ll wax and cultivate this virile version of a pink ribbon until a shave party at the end of the month.
The similarly-themed No Shave November does not restrict the type of facial hair, though it is less charitiably-minded than its Movember cousin. The group’s Facebook page, with some 46,700 fans, promotes only the “The art of not shaving during the month of November.”
As the hirsute hopefuls consider their burgeoning ‘staches today, they can find inspiration from the pros: competitive moustache growers. TV critic Hank Stuever wrote about the IFC show “Whisker Wars,” about the artful “facial hair face-off” that aired this summer:
The more you watch, the less manly the men of “Whisker Wars” appear as they pout and preen. This really becomes clear when, readying for competition, one of the Austin dudes puts sponge rollers in his mustache. This show is more like “Toddlers & Tiaras” than it cares to admit.
Ok, Mo Bros, maybe the dudes of “Whisker Wars” aren’t the best role models for you. Look instead to the REAL manly moustaches of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, which is hosting a special Movember exhibit of moustaches throughout the ages: “Jo’s Mo Show.” The gallery’s Flickr pool displays contemporary moustache styles, but this ad from 1886 in the South Australian Advertiser, offers a far more poetic take on the art of moustachery:
Some men wear beards, whiskers and moustaches; others shave the whiskers and beard and leave the moustache; whilst others preserve the moustache and part of the beard but eschew whiskers! In all these varieties, and a great many more, there are marks of design.