On manhood and Movember ...or why the moustache works

Glob Health Promot. 2015 Jun;22(2):65-70. doi: 10.1177/1757975914536913. Epub 2014 Jul 14.


The unprecedented success of the Movember campaign in raising money for, and awareness of, prostate cancer (PCa) brings with it a novel opportunity to consider how masculinity and men's health can connect. In this essay we first detail the history of some less fruitful endeavors for advancing PCa awareness that played on masculine stereotypes. We then consider how Movember's moustache motif has succeeded. Included are commentaries about why the strongly masculine motifs of combat, loyalty, and aggression couched in military language were not successful when used to promote concern about men's health. Movember in contrast succeeds by focusing on a way that men can express their individuality without resorting to overt acts or signs of aggression or militarism.

Keywords: dog tags; masculinities; moustache; prostate cancer; reef knot.

MeSH terms

  • British Columbia
  • Health Planning Support / organization & administration*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masculinity*
  • Men's Health*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology