With a great mustache comes a great responsibility

A friendly conversation: David Morales, a peer support worker from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), at ‘The Friendship Bench’ outside the CHMA office on Oct. 25. Morales is an advocate for mental health who works closely with those who need a safe space to talk. (Photo by Kajol Bhatia/The Press)

Men have started growing out their facial hair to show support for the Movember movement but some believe it’s now just a fad.

“There are so many men growing mustaches, just for the sake of it,” said David Morales, a peer support worker at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Calgary.

“It’s just become a fad.”

The Movember movement focuses on raising awareness and funds for prostate and testicular cancer research, and other projects that support men’s health.

“There are a lot of other movements that enable people to take certain steps towards what their cause is whereas Movember doesn’t have any of that,” Morales said in a recent interview

“It’s just commercializing masculinity.

“I do applaud them for gathering money and putting it towards prostate cancer research but, there is way more that they could be doing,” Morales said.

The Movember website says that the campaign is “the leading charity changing the face of men’s health.”

They also claim to know “what works for men and what doesn’t.”

“I didn’t even know there was a movement for prostate cancer before my friends told me,” said Artur de Sousa, a petroleum engineering technology student at SAIT.

“I’m new to this movement and others should know about it too.”

Sousa, along with his friends, is growing out his beard to show his support for the Movember campaign.

“I knew women had various movements but never heard about one for men,” he said.

Grow a mo’: Artur de Sousa, a Petroleum Engineering Technology student at SAIT, poses in the Johnson-Cobbe Energy Centre building on SAIT campus on Oct. 23. Sousa is growing out his beard to support the Movember movement and raise awareness for men’s health. (Photo by Kajol Bhatia/The Press)

Ali Nizami, a business analyst at Telus, and his colleagues have previously collaborated to fund-raise for the Movember campaign.

“We’ve had our team page on the Movember website and all of us drove our efforts for that one team page,” said Nizami.

“We did some baked goods’ sales, sold tickets for a raffle draw to win a big prize like an iPad and more such activities.”

Though Nizami has never been tested for prostate cancer himself, he says it’s only because the opportunity never presented itself.

“I never gave it much thought, even after doing fund-raising for it,” said Nizami.

“Men see themselves as tough and they have that ‘I don’t need that’ attitude.”

There is a need for the organization to inform men on the importance of being tested for prostate cancer after the age of 35.

“The problem is that men aren’t going in early enough to get tested,” said Morales.

“It’s time to have a decent conversation about this.”

The campaign should revolve around motivating men to go have a physical examination and do more than just growing a mustache.

“Because that’s how you’re going to prevent prostate or testicular cancer, is by getting tested,” said Morales.

“Most people don’t know that they need to go get tested to catch it early.”

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