Saturday, November 8, 2014

I Don't Care If You Think It's Cool

By now, I'm used to the reactions I get when I express my enthusiasm for Movember. People think I'm funny and strange just because I encourage people to grow mustaches, and I wear mustache accessories, and I spend an entire month trying to raise money for a worthy cause: cancer, mental illness, and the overall health of men.

Things are different this year. Interest in Movember has been waning, and this is probably the weakest year I've seen so far. The movement isn't at its peak anymore; not everyone you know is growing a mustache, or explaining why he didn't grow one and offering to donate instead. Not as many businesses are using it as a marketing opportunity. It's like Movember "isn't cool anymore," and people don't want to participate in something that's not cool.

That's not an excuse. This isn't a band or a sports team whose bandwagon you can hop off of when it stops trending on Twitter. Which, by the way? People are still buying Maroon 5 albums, or watching Grey's Anatomy, or cheering for the Oakland Raiders. What's so passé about staying committed to an annual fundraiser? Given the choice, I'd definitely donate money to cancer research over lining the pockets of a judge on The Voice or paying some athlete to gas up his Lincoln. (Are Lincolns still cool, or...?)

"It's not cool anymore" isn't really a great excuse. Movember supports causes that matter. That hasn't changed since last year or the year before. Over 23, 000 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. An estimated 1000 Canadian men, most of them young, will be diagnosed with testicular cancer this year. And discussions about mental health have finally really started to take their place in the public sphere. We can't stop now. It's too important.

"Cool" is for food trends and sneaker styles. Not for saving lives. Support your local Mo Bros, Mo Sistas, cancer patients, and the men in your life.