As we head into "Movember" the unofficial male month of the year it's important we direct our energy towards men's issues and the difficulties men might face during their lifetime. From suicide to racism, slavery to discrimination towards under-privileged white men, Movember is a fantastic opportunity to explore topics that affect so many...
Writing this blog has given me the opportunity to think quite a lot about it and, my honest answer, God knows! I like that there are so many variations of what a real man is now, I like that we have baking shows on television and two of the top three contestants are men, I like that our role as men is not defined and it looks like it will forever evolve and very much for the better.
It was nine years ago today that I said goodbye to him for that last time, after making a difficult decision to get on my scheduled flight from Osaka back to Manchester. I did that knowing that I would never see him again. The knowledge of how lucky he was to have her and her care for him is my comfort. And that's all I need.
When someone close to you says they're 'feeling down' or 'depressed', common responses include 'chin up' and 'look on the bright side'. If you have an anxiety disorder or depression however, these often sincere words of encouragement sound meaningless. At worst, they reinforce the fear that you are different from those around you.
As with Movember moustache blindness, the more you see anything, the less you notice it. Whether it's an incredible piece of architecture you walk past every day, the arrow in the Fed Ex logo, or a person in your office presenting the symptoms of a mental health problem, it's easy to just stop noticing. Fittingly then, Movember this year has a renewed focus on mental health.
It's a devastatingly harsh condition to live with and one that leads to severe isolation, especially in my experience, for men. We often struggle to talk about our feelings and often when I've explained my circumstances, people simply don't know what to say.
Three out of four suicides in the UK are men. Every two hours somewhere across the UK a man will take his life. It is about time we started to address this. It is a complex issue but we want to bring it out of the shadows, strip down the stigmas that surround this challenge and start to look at it from a gendered and male perspective. At Movember, we believe that by applying a male lens on men's mental health issues, we will be better able to support men in seeking help and treatment earlier.
Fighting cancer doesn't stop after remission. Not only must prostate cancer survivors adapt to post-treatment side-effects such as weight gain, sexual difficulties and depression, there is a wider and more serious trend that survivors are often blind to.
Prog style was a visual reflection of the music. An eclectic, over-the-top, mind-expanding mix of historical and future influences, it blended science fiction/fantasy, surrealist art and the penetrative psychiatry of R D Laing.
Why are people angry that women who've posted have received 'natural beauty' acclamations from friends and strangers? Personally I think if women want to congratulate one another on their collective natural beauty this can only be a step in the right direction of mutual support and love
From then, each month now has a designated charity aim, with January's 'dryathalon' all the way to 'Stoptober'. Alongside these, people will be engaging in so-called fun runs and comedy nights across the country. What's wrong with that? It's all for a good cause, they say as they proffer their jangling buckets.
While there is no secret formula to creating engaging social media content, the best examples of content have two things in common: the content is original and it has been distributed in the right way to the right people.
The tache may have gone out of fashion with Hitler (aside from certain areas of East London, I'm told) but ultimately men are free to grow or shave their hair as they see fit... But for women, any natural or stylistic variation in hair on any part of the body except the head is markedly absent.
I am taking part in Movember - the charity moustache-growing campaign in aid of Prostate Cancer UK - but I've chosen to wear a false "wing commander's" model rather than adorn my upper lip with the genuine item... What David Cameron and my colleagues, let alone Labour, will say, remains to be seen.
Most men secretly want to grow a moustache. As much as we may deny it there is a definite attraction in adorning our faces with an expressive, character defining moustache. While beards have retained a certain roguish charm... moustaches on their own have remained resolutely anti-fashion.
Did you notice, a couple of weeks ago, on Tuesday 9th November, a whole host of women in your workplace - or on your train, or on your walk home - looking a little paler than normal? A little less defined, a little less 'glowy'?