Movember and COVID-19: Hide your stache, not your struggles

The Movember moustache may be invisible with a mask on, but your feelings don’t have to be invisible as well. (Courtesy of Bhabna Banerjee, Creative Director)

November is a month of many titles: No Shave November, where men abstain from shaving their face; No Nut November, where participants abstain from porn, masturbation, and orgasm; and No Unnecessary Tuition for Low-Quality Online Classes November, which doesn’t need an explanation if you go to York.

But today I wanna bring some attention to a lesser known title: Movember.

Okay, you caught me — I lied, it’s probably the most popular of the bunch. Movember aims to raise awareness on men’s health, prostate and testicular cancer, suicide prevention, and mental health.  But you knew that already, didn’t you?

There have been dozens of articles about Movember, what it means to “grow a mo and save a bro,” and all of them, for the most part, knock it out of the park.

But this year is different. It’s 2020 for god’s sake.

In a world ravaged by COVID-19 (dare I mention its name), mental illness is at an all-time high.  Isolation and social distancing haven’t been the greatest when it comes to aiding our crippling sanity, and wearing a mask is our best bet in order to stop this nightmare — but it doesn’t stop the nightmare inside our heads.

Men can’t be as open about this as others. They are told to “suck it up” or “be a man” or any other representation of toxic masculinity I won’t get into. The thing to take away from this right now is that this isn’t news. We’ve known this, and we’ve done nothing, or rather, we haven’t done enough.

    Growing a moustache in November is our way of saying “we’re not afraid of getting help,” “we’re not afraid of standing up to the stigma,” and “we’re not afraid of being broken.”

But this isn’t an article about negativity, it might not even be about positivity — but it’s an article about honesty.  And I’ll be honest: I’m fucking sick of it.

This stigma needs to end. This high suicide rate for men needs to end. This judgemental society that determines someone’s worth depending on what’s inside their head needs to end.

Growing a moustache in November is our way of saying “we’re not afraid of getting help,” “we’re not afraid of standing up to the stigma,” and “we’re not afraid of being broken.”

Sure, it can be seen as silly — “it’s just a moustache.” But to us, it’s a symbol of solidarity.

So how do you raise awareness for a cause so justifiably warranted when you have to hide the main conversation starter? The presence of COVID-19 still means we need to wear masks, and wearing masks means hiding your face — and inevitably, your moustache.

You wanna know what I think? Grow the mo, bro. Hell, I shaved off my 10-month-old beard just so I could start fresh and grow a ‘stache for Movember. Sure, nobody is ever gonna see it — let’s be real, I don’t go outside — but you can still use it as a conversation starter.  And if you don’t feel comfortable yet, that’s okay, you’ll get there eventually.

So while we hide our moustaches to protect others from a contagious virus, let’s not hide our mental struggles and look after ourselves, too. 

About the Author

By Jonathan Q. Hoidn

Copy Editor

copy@excal.on.ca

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