Why Wall Street may get a little hairy next month
STEPHANE L’HOSTIS/Getty Images Starting tomorrow, the United States will experience “Movember,” a month when men from all ages and walks of life will sport a distinctive mustache, ranging from a little fuzz to an outright walrus look. Don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause: to raise awareness about prostate cancer, a disease that affects ...
STEPHANE L'HOSTIS/Getty Images
Starting tomorrow, the United States will experience “Movember,” a month when men from all ages and walks of life will sport a distinctive mustache, ranging from a little fuzz to an outright walrus look. Don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause: to raise awareness about prostate cancer, a disease that affects one in six men in the United States.
Since it started in Australia in 2003, Movember—which combines the Australian slang for mustache (mo’) with the designated mo-growing month of November—the annual event has raised more than $8 million. Participants, known as “Mo Bros,” take donations in exchange for not shaving their upper lips for a month. The money then goes to the main prostate-cancer charity in the home country of the participant. Movember now has official Web sites for six countries, and people from other countries are still able to register and participate.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Sarah Needleman seems skeptical. She writes, “Convincing… business professionals… to grow mustaches — even for a cause — may be tough in the U.S., where mustaches aren’t currently in vogue and facial hair runs afoul of corporate grooming norms.” But, um, it’s not exactly a fashion statement in Australia either—which, of course, is kind of the point. As Adam Garone, one of the three co-founders of Movember, puts it:
The mustache is a vehicle to get [men] talking… What we say is you’re essentially donating your face for a month. You become a walking billboard because you walk into a meeting and you’re forced to explain yourself.”
Indeed, the success of Movember largely depends on men in the corporate world taking a risk to grow a mo’. During the past few years, the competitive spirit in the world of finance has translated into big bucks for prostate-cancer research—around 25 percent of the total Movember money raised, according to Garone. It will be interesting to see how Movember does in its first year in the United States. And it will be almost as interesting to see hordes of Wall Street bankers with their new looks. Good luck, Mo Bros!
UPDATE: Passport reader Arjew Tino writes in with a hard-hitting report from the Movember crowd in DC.
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