Razors at the ready as Movember draws to a close

THERE’s something unfamiliar nestling on my top lip. It’s been there for a few weeks, and it’s beginning to look at little too comfortable for my liking, but there’s nothing I can do – it’s there to stay for another day at least.

Yes, like thousands of others up and down the country – and the other fine tache-sporting specimens featured here – I have elected to share my face with some fuzz in the name of charity this past month. It’s not been a picnic. I’ve had dry itchy skin, some of my hairs are – eek – ginger and as a man who generally prefers the fresh- faced look – or as close to it as I can muster – it’s a slightly odd image I see staring back at me from the bathroom mirror.

So why did I take part in Movember? I’d love to claim it was a long- considered personal challenge in a bid to raise as much money as possible for a worthwhile cause. In truth, though, I found myself involved more by accident than design.

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With more than 354,000 people registering to take part in the UK this year I’d like to think I’m not the only man whose entry point into Movember was simply waking up on November 1 and deciding not to shave – out of laziness. Not shaving isn’t hard – if I could get sponsorship for not 
running a marathon, or not climbing Everest I would be a formidable force in fundraising. Movember, literally, requires no effort, beyond that of getting out and showing your top-lip to the world – and encouraging them to give a little something in exchange.

Unlike most moments of great inspiration, it was brought into being in an Australian pub nine years ago, at the time when prostate cancer was not a widely discussed concern.

Estimates suggest the Movember campaign, with its strong social media presence and high-profile backers, has since sparked almost two billion conversations about the disease, and encouraged a huge number of men to get themselves checked. The money has been far from inconsequential – to date the campaign has raised some £184 million, paying for research to identify 27 types of prostate cancer and genome-map the disease.So far I’ve not raised a huge amount – but if I had only made that £10 it would still have been worth it.

Will I keep the moustache? I have grown strangely fond of it, although I suspect it’ll get shaved off when I start to look like an alcoholic walrus.

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• To donate, either give directly to the Movember Foundation or visit http://uk.movember.com/?home. Or if you like my moustache and think it’s worth a few pennies, visit: http://mobro.co/garethedwards4

Hear, hear for facial hair

AS a woman I’m not really into moustaches. It quite horrifies me that at some point, as I age ungracefully, I could well have cultivated one without noticing, only becoming rudely aware of it when my grandchildren turn from me in horror at the thought of a whiskery kiss from the ancient matriarch of the family.

But as a woman, I also love moustaches. They are in fact, fan-tache-tique. Not that all moustaches are equal. Forget Charlie Chaplin (needs to be paired with bandy legs) and the Poirot (too twiddly, too much effort with wax) and think more Tom Selleck (lean, mean) or Burt Reynolds (lean, mean, can handle a car) – the kind of tache you want to run your fingers through.

It can take some men a while to get there. Not all are blessed, as my husband is, with the ability to go to bed with a philtrum as bare as a baby’s bottom and wake up with the kind of growth which would make George Michael envious. Five o’clock shadows for him begin five minutes after the razor has been rinsed. Must be the Viking in him.

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Which is why Movember is so great. Not only does it free men to put the Bics and Gillettes to one side, to give their poor, scraped skin a rest, but it lets them see just what they could look like, what

their manly hirsute potential really is.

Unfortunately for some it means looking like they should be in a Crimewatch photo-fit, but for many it’s a chance to wrest the handlebar away from the Village People, to reclaim the spiv from the bankers of London, to even give Lemmy a run for his money.

But remember, as Peter Griffin from Family Guy succinctly put it: with great moustache comes great responsibility. It has to be looked after, to be groomed, not allowed to encroach on to the cheeks. And the wrong tache can be ageing – you could end up looking more Jack from Still Game than David Niven.

So take care of your tache, and it could be for life. Indeed, as someone once said, a man without a moustache is like a cup of tea without sugar. I raise a mug of Tetley’s best to Movember.

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