Ever since 2012, we in the ‘Oil filter development’ group have been taking part in Movember. The term, a portmanteau word combining ‘moustache’ and ‘November’, is used to describe the event each year when men around the world let their moustaches grow for a whole month.
The idea originated in Australia. Those behind the Movember campaign founded the movement, now followed by several million men worldwide, to raise awareness of men’s health. Just as wearing a red ribbon reminds people of the risk of HIV, temporarily wearing a moustache is intended to remind men to get themselves checked out regularly and empower them to be more open about physical and mental illness. As well as increasing awareness and sensitivity, the campaign also aims to raise funds each year. When my colleagues Marius Panzer, Marco Faißt and I heard about Movember in 2012, we thought it was a brilliant idea. Not only did we think it was a very worthy cause, but it also seemed like a lot of fun.
And so, in November 2012, the three of us let our ‘mo’ grow for the first time.
If you suddenly turn up to work with a moustache (fashionable or not!) it is obviously going to become a talking point among your colleagues. This is why it’s such an effective way to get people talking about neglected subjects like men’s health in a relaxed and light-hearted way. Over the years, we have broadened the scope of our donation concept – those who like the idea can make a donation to a good cause, such as Doctors without Borders or a children’s cancer charity, all on a voluntary basis of course. In this way, we ‘mo bros’ were able to involve our female colleagues in Movember. Not only were they able to make a donation, but they could also pick their favourite ‘facial furniture’ for us to sport!
The moustache can be worn in many different ways: curled upwards, curled downwards, long, short, long and twirly, and with or without sideburns. In preparation for next Movember, we now have about 50 types of ‘tash’ for people to choose from. There are endless possibilities, and it also takes quite a bit of courage to take part in the campaign. Your colleagues, line managers, and friends who have seen you with a shaven face all year round, start wondering what has got into you all of a sudden, and your family may start to question your sanity! 😉
Ideally you would wear your own preferred style of moustache, like every other moustache-wearer, with dignity and pride for the duration of Movember. If important appointments such as a presentation to management happen to fall during this time, people often have to hide their amused expressions. Even if you do manage to retain your composure, you know full well what others are thinking. Over the years, we’ve managed to get fellow campaigners on board from various departments, including development, testing, simulation and project management. We like to keep photographic evidence of our achievements in the field of ‘moustachology’ and, as you can see from this portrait from 2014, we like to get a bit arty with the editing process!
In 2015, more colleagues took part, some even from China and India.
To the delight of our families, even the best Movembers come to an end, as seen below at the very first Movember Showdown in the new technology centre in 2016.
Of course, we are always delighted to welcome new campaigners, so if you are interested in taking part this coming Autumn, please let us know. Here’s one tried and tested tip for anyone thinking of taking part in Movember: give the folks at home plenty of notice – your wife and kids need time to adjust! 😉
Until next Movember,
Marius Panzer and Thomas Gose