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I’ve heard of a bearded lady, but what’s a mo sista?

PD Editorial Intern Melissa Miller Published on 20 November 2013

This November, the symbol for men’s health awareness is right under your nose. Well, any nose with a moustache. The moustache is rapidly becoming the rallying symbol for prostate cancer like the pink ribbon is for breast cancer.

November is men’s health awareness month and features a quirky campaign known as Movember, now in its seventh year. The movement is using the distinguished moustache to draw attention to key issues including prostate and testicular cancer and mental health issues.

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Men all over the world, in the dairy industry and out, are invited to grow a moustache this month starting with a clean shave.

These moustaches help generate conversations about the serious topics by breaking the conversational ice. Men who participate earn the affectionate nickname of “mo bros.”

It is estimated that each moustache grown will generate an average of 2,400 conversations during the month.

Women fill a slightly different role in the movement. Outside of a circus, facial hair isn’t something women usually make a point of cultivating. That doesn’t mean that the ladies are excluded from this great moustache fest. Au contraire. Women, or “mo sistas,” have many opportunities to support the cause.

Women and men alike are encouraged to go to the website and create a profile to use as a platform to share the Movember message through Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

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Fun photos featuring a fake moustache can help generate interest and important conversations for the men in a mo sista’s life. Women can also encourage men to participate by growing a moustache.

Wisconsin mo sista Holly Harper is one of the organizers bringing Movember to the dairy industry.

Harper is a first-time mo sista and has plans to get involved through her dad and his epic moustache. Harper encouraged her dad to participate as a mo bro and shave his 30-year moustache.

Harper will be taking and posting pictures to document the growth throughout the month. She will also create and maintain her father’s MoSpace and share his story online.

Harper said, “I found my most powerful moustache and helped it get shaved. It’s going to make a big difference in his community because a lot of people are going to ask him why he shaved after 30 years, and he’ll have that Movember message to share.”

Even without a specific mo bro to encourage, women can be involved in Movember.

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In addition to social media activities, the official Movember site suggests hosting a moustache-themed party in the workplace or community to raise awareness and donations toward prostate cancer research.

Such a party could feature milk moustaches, moustache-themed movies or anything else that brings fun and moustaches together.

Other suggestions for mo sista involvement include:

• Recruit team members from your workplace, social media or family and friends.

• Raise funds for your team through social networks and via email.

• Encourage the men in your life to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a good diet, and know his health numbers

• Host a MOVE party. MOVE is a companion Movember cause to encourage mo bros to use exercise to decrease their risk of common health problems.

• Buy a Gala ticket and join other Mo Bros and Mo Sistas at one of our legendary Movember Gala Partés

• Order health materials for the men in your life or your office.

• Visit the website for more information.

Most importantly, as a mo sista, one of the easiest ways to participate is through encouragement. Growing a moustache can be a daunting task for some mo bros, especially in the first weeks. A smile and a compliment can go a long way.

Mo sistas can also be the ones to have the serious conversations about men’s health issues. Men will be more willing to talk with a spouse, girlfriend, sister or female friend about sensitive topics rather than a guy friend.

Harper said, “We can encourage them to be silly about something serious and then turn around after everyone has gone home from the moustache party and say, ‘Hey, really let’s make an appointment.’ We can support them both publicly and in private.”

Both men and women can get involved this Movember to raise awareness and help to change the face of men’s health.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cancer killer and will affect one in six men nationwide. The moustache has become a fun way to address this serious issue and allow men to relate to one another and communicate about tough topics in a casual way.

The women of the Movember movement may not be able to grow a moustache for the occasion, but they can have just as much fun and generate the conversations that can help save lives. PD

00_miller_melissa

Melissa Miller
Editorial Intern
Progressive Dairyman

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