If photos of facial hair gradually begin to infiltrate your social media feeds over the next month, don't panic -- Movember is back.
The month formerly known as November has become the biggest global men's beauty event in the calendar -- but though it may sound frivolous, it has a serious cause. As the tagline 'Grow a Mo, save a Bro' sums up, the movement uses facial hair as a fundraising tool to help tackle prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide globally.
The rules for Movember are simple -- all participants need to do is begin the month clean-shaven, sit back, and watch their moustaches sprout (while being sponsored by family and friends for their efforts). Beards and goatees are banned, and the Movember website asks only that each 'Mo Bro' conduct himself "like a true gentleman". Alternatively, both male and female participants can take on a physical challenge or host a social event -- as the charity states, they welcome "anything to attract attention and raise funds."
The Movember movement was first established in 2003 in Australia, as a means of raising awareness about men's health issues, and was turned into an official charity in 2004, with funds donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. By 2007 the charity had spread to New Zealand, Canada, Spain, the US and the UK, partnering up with prostate cancer organizations in each nation.
Last year's global campaign also listed Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland as participating countries, and the movement has raised £443 million (approximately $538 million) and funded 1,200 men's health projects funded since its inception.
"By engaging with men where they are, and understanding what works best, the Foundation is helping make change happen sooner, before it's too late," says Owen Sharp, Movember Foundation CEO.
For more information, or to take part in this year's campaign, join Movember.com.