Movember movement encourages men to grow mustaches in the name of charity

A movement this month aims to change the face of men's health by starting at their upper lip.

Each November the Movember movement encourages men to grow mustaches in the name of charity. The website for the movement states they seek sponsorship for their mustache-growing efforts and donate it to men's health issues such as researching prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

Men are asked to register at www.movember.com and start out the month clean-shaven.

"Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November," the website states. "Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men's health."

CNN reported the movement started in Australia and reached the United States in 2006.

Sydney native Neil Van Helden, who now lives in the United States, told CNN he got involved because he has family members who have dealt with prostate cancer and depression.

"There's not a lot out there in terms of support for men with charities," he said. "It's not talked about that much."

He also said that men are terrible at committing to regular health screenings.

The Movember movement stated that more than 64,500 U.S. participants raised $7.5 million in 2010. Globally there has been $174 million raised by 1.1 million people.

Charities such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the LIVESTRONG Lance Armstrong Foundation have been the beneficiaries.

There are rules. A "mo," Movember states , is a mustache and only a mustache. The mustache must not touch sideburns, because that's a beard. The handlebars of the mustache must not touch, because that's a goatee. Though a little growth under the bottom lip is OK.

There's also a separate movement afoot by the American Mustache Institute to convince the government to pass the Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses – or STACHE – Act.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that if ever passed, men would be able to take $250 off their adjusted gross income to cover the costs of mustache trimmers, wax and other grooming supplies.

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