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It happens every year in November. Men all around town begin sporting a little more facial hair than usual. And we're not just talking about hipsters.
The ‘stash' may be bad for razor sales but Movember, now in its 13th year, has made a powerful impact around the world by creating awareness of men's health issues, particularly prostate cancer. Go the mo!
The community has been awash with positive ‘sisterhood' causes. Women helping women raise awareness for issues like breast cancer, domestic violence and cervical cancer. But now men feel similarly encouraged to band together in brotherhood to support causes that affect males. This indicates a broad societal shift away from the bygone expectations of the emotionally stoic, "macho" bloke.
Movember isn't the only example of men helping men. Beard Season is a similar campaign, although the focus here is to encourage men to get skin cancer checks. The brainchild of Scott Maggs, Beard Season came about a couple of years ago when Scott and his mates were mourning the death of a friend at the age of 26 from malignant melanoma. "I suppose a lot of blokes think we're bulletproof," Scott told Collective magazine. "We started thinking: how could we get men to get a regular skin check?'"
And utilizing a physical attribute that is exclusively male – facial hair – has been a great way to bring as many men into the game as possible. And in a fun and creative way. After all, men generally have much more limited opportunities than women to be expressive and creative with their appearance.
Another hairy example of ‘brotherhood' that's close to our hearts comes from Sydney TAFE barber graduate, Stacey Batchelor (AKA the Bearded Barber). By day he's a high flying ‘ad man', but by night he shakes off his corporate attire and dons his barber's cape, hitting the streets of Sydney to find homeless men who are feeling low and looking a little rough around the edges.
"I just wanted to give back a little bit, I guess," he said. "My mum had been doing volunteer work for years. I've always liked hair and my mate suggested it. I've just learnt that the smallest things make a change, you know what I mean? The haircut's one thing, ‘cause trimming a beard takes you 30 seconds. But they're just buddies and people that I've just met. But they're cool guys, you know? It's just sad that people don't see it that way sometimes."
But it's that sense of brotherhood that keeps him coming back to the streets. Let there be more of it.