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Whiskers Wile-Out: Cultivating organized lips shaves hairs for November, charity

by Richard Barfield, contributing writer

What happened to the mustache? It used to be the most majestic type of facial hair a man could grow, gracing the faces of rock stars, geniuses, politicians and important world figures.

But somewhere with the passage of time, mustaches turned into something dirty. Mustaches became associated with a lack of character, or being a sleaze. The collective consciousness of our great country deemed mustaches were not fit for respectable society.

Porn stars have mustaches, dirty slime balls have them … some religious groups even believe that mustaches are a sign of the homosexual spirit (but Right Said Fred didn’t have one, so their whole argument is rendered moot).

It seems the only celebrities nowadays that can rock the mustache and still seem bad ass are Sam Elliot and Gene Shalit.

Luckily, a group of fine Australians have come along and tried to change that. Back in 2003, a group of men decided to try and bring back the mustache, or “mos” as the Austrialians call it, in the month of November.

Unlike, say March Mustache, or Rat Tail April, which are solely meant to look goofy, there’s a point to this movement.

To justify the resurrection of the mustache, they decided to raise awareness for prostate cancer research, thus Movember. Now Movember raises money not only for prostate cancer but also for testicular cancer research.

In 2007, Movember crept into the U.S. Last year alone in Australia, Movember efforts raised over 20 million Australian dollars, roughly $18 million here.

The ushering in of Movember buzzed Nov. 1

The ushering in of Movember buzzed Nov. 1

The money raised is split evenly with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation at the end of Movember.

So here’s how it works: You (if you’re willing or even able to sprout face hairs) register at movember.com, and the group sends you all the info you need about how to get donations and where to send them. You start Mov. 1, CLEAN-SHAVEN (no shaving your beard and leaving a mustache).

Then as the month progresses, you do your best to groom the mustache into the most rocking example of manliness you possibly can. Motivate your friends, family and coworkers – whoever — to support your efforts. Then at the end of the month, throw a mustached theme party to celebrate your facial art.

Oh, and Movember is not just restricted to the men. Mosistas can also get involved and raise awareness, too, even if they’re unable to accumulate a moustache on their own faces.

But what do students think of this? Would they be willing to go the distance? Ted Locke, a UNF philosophy senior philosophy, said he “would grow one out to raise awareness for testicular cancer.”

“I don’t want to grow a mustache,” said Michael Durrance, a UNF mathematics senior. “I mean, I’d grow one, but I can’t.”

And how about the ladies? Will having a mustache for a month diminish one’s dating opportunities?

“In general, they look bad,” said Petra Alridge, a UNF statistics senior said. “But if it’s for charity, it’s OK.”

So if you’re willing to bring back the mustache, stop it from being associated with the dregs of society and its slow descent into nothing more than a novelty. Or if you just want to do something for a good cause, go ahead and start growing out those ‘staches.

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