Beauty
Charlotte Hannah
December 06, 2012

Decembeaver Is Women’s Response to Movember (VIDEO)


Photo credit: Sarah Cooper, YouTube

Now that Movember’s over, we’re left with two issues:

1. Some women feel they didn’t get an adequate chance to take part in Movember, due to their inability to grow a moustache.

2. We got so used to saying “Movember” instead of “November” that we need another clever name by which to refer to the last month of the year.

Decembeaver may be able to solve both of those problems. In “Goodbye Movember, Hello Decembeaver,” writer / director Sarah Cooper makes a radical proposition:

As funny as this video is, I’m a little confused as to what point Cooper et al were trying to make.

While they did include a link to the American Cancer Society in the video description, the tone of the video makes it seem as though they’re not really proposing Decembeaver as a real fundraising initiative. The use of the two men who are disgusted at the thought of women forgoing shaving for a month makes the video seem to be more a comment on Western society’s double standards regarding pubic hair maintenance than it is a serious bid to raise money for cancer. Or, as Torie Bosch from Slate pointed out, the video could be an attempt at, “skewering the rather narcissist Movember approach.”

If that’s the case, the video does a good job of it, in a subversive way. In the same way that for many guys (in my experience, at least) Movember seems to be less about raising money for prostate cancer research and more about seeing how silly they look with a moustache, the creators of the video shift the focus from fundraising for cancer to their desire to grow pubic hair without reproach from their boyfriends.

Neither approach gives enough attention to what’s really important: awareness of and fundraising for prostate cancer. And, as much as both awesome moustaches and questioning the beauty standards we impose on women are things I support, neither should be shoehorned so far into a fundraising campaign that they detract from the actual message.

That said, the whole idea of Movember does present a problem: those who can’t grow a moustache (most women and some men) don’t feel they’re able to participate in any role other than that of a supporter on the sidelines.

Women can, and should, participate in the effort to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer research in whatever way they see fit. For women who normally shave, this could mean putting the razor down for a month and getting supporters to sponsor their leg, armpit, pubic or even facial hair. It could even be something as simple as wearing a moustache necklace for a month (and collecting donations), or just donating some money to the American Cancer Society. In any case, let’s not lose sight of what Movember’s should be about: not moustaches, not pubes, but the men (and their loved ones) who are affected by prostate cancer.