Moustaches Save Lives
By Martin Talks, president of digital, Draftfcb London
So there I was in a hotel lift in Paris a couple of weeks ago. 6 enormous men piled in after me. I immediately recognised them as members of the Australian rugby team. They are not known for their affection for Englishmen, especially in the run up to an international match. So I made myself look as inconspicuous as possible. Not easy in a lift. The largest of them cast me a look that suggested he had not quite eaten enough at the breakfast buffet…. Then the miracle of the moustache. He grinned! He had caught sight of my rather pathetic moustache. I looked back at him. He had a similarly weedy growth. "All right mate" he said. "Yeee" I replied - in a non-committal accent somewhere between Aussie, French and Italian. But I could have said "chipper old boy" and it would have been fine. We were on the same side. United by our rather anaemic moustache hair. Bros of the mos.
Moustaches save lives in other ways. Moustache growing in November - hence Movember - is now the major money raiser for prostate cancer charities. And we have Australia to thank for it. Originally just a bet amongst some mates over a beer or two, the story of the Movember movement is a really inspiring tale of positive change. Back in 2003, Adam Garone approached Prostate Cancer Research in Australia with the Movember idea. But he was turned down by the charity as, although they thought it was a really novel idea, they said they were an ultra conservative organisation and couldn't get involved. But Adam and his friends persisted and the movement grew not just in Australia but worldwide. Movember raised $126m for prostate cancer research last year.
And so it is that 8 of us Draftfcbians in London now look like cowboys from the Magnificent 8 - or a rather strange group of Victorian throw backs, depending on your point of view. It's a strange thing the moustache. Deeply unfashionable now, but once obligatory for any self-respecting gent. And despite us knowing we look rather ridiculous, we can't help feeling it gives us a slightly rakish, debonaire and devil may care look. I'll let you be the judge of that...
Since the "near death" incident in the lift, I am pleased to say my moustache has blossomed, much to the alarm of colleagues, small children and animals. One of the few advantages of getting older is the ability to grow hair - admittedly more from places like nostrils and ears than on the head - but not bad for moustaches.
There's a life lesson somewhere in all this which is along the following lines: life is sometimes like Movember. Sometimes people can be alarmed by new ideas and we can feel rather ridiculous suggesting them, but if we have the passion, persistence and patience, we can change the world for the better.
Please do give generously and help us change the face of men's health:http://uk.movember.com/team/803381