Who knew a little facial hair could make such a difference? My first foray into social activism, courtesy of the global Movember movement, has met with some curious reactions.
Let’s face it. Mustaches went out with “Smokey and the Bandit,” and that road trip flick is already 36 years old. So growing one to help raise awareness of men’s health concerns like testicular and prostate cancers made it not just another charitable effort. It’s personal, and here are five reasons why:
- Irreconcilable Differences – My wife has yet to officially file the paper work for divorce proceedings, but I’m pretty sure she Googled the subject once or twice. Long story short – she’s not a fan of the mustache.
- Who Are You, Again? – My sons worried that they wouldn’t know who I was if I grew a mustache. I’m pretty sure they can still pick me out of a crowd, but it’s been a running gag in our family all the same. Out of the blue, my two-year-old son will say, “I don’t know who you are!” in his inimitable primal scream voice. Then, he calls me either Ted, Fred or Ned, the names I’ve been going by in place of “Daddy.” The kid’s got comic timing at the very least.
- The Future Looks … Hairy – Mustaches come back with a vengeance in the future, according to the new Joaquin Phoenix movie “Her.” The drama, set in the not so distant future, imagines a world in which your computer’s operating system boasts artificial intelligence. The biggest style difference in the film? The men now wear loud and proud mustaches, including Phoenix’s character.
- Costumes Count: The new movie “Dallas Buyer’s Club” finds Matthew McConaughey dropping a frightening amount of weigh to better portray a man battling AIDS. The performance is a stunner, and I bet that weight drop helped him get into character every day. A similar feeling has come over me this month with my mustache. I feel … different, and when I greet people who don’t know me well I convey a different side of me than before. It’s an older persona, one with a world weariness I usually don’t radiate.
- Charity Demands a Comfort Zone Reassignment: I’m a relative newbie when it comes to charitable efforts. I’ve helped out a few organizations in the past, but it was either as part of a friend’s effort or a dating strategy. Growing a mustache and asking friends and strangers alike to donate to a good cause is exercising a new muscle for me, and I feel as flabby as Popeye before the spinach transfusion. I’m glad I’m doing it all the same, especially since I’m modeling noble behavior for my sons. If you’d like to help, please visit my personal Movember page and hit the “Donate Now” button near the top right. Of the funds raised in the US, 83.1% has been committed to programs combating prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. You can learn more about Movember donations at the official site.