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Sod You, Movember Man

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Sod Movember. Yeah, you heard me. Sod it. Sod the suddenly bristly newsreaders scratching themselves on screen, sod the smug, self-congratulatory Facebook pictures of blossoming ironic moustaches - sod you, Movember Man, smearing your masculinity all over your face in the name of charity.

Ah yes, charity. The great justifier. Nauseating pop singles? The moron in your office wearing his clothes backwards for a day to divert attention from the bell jar that is his personality?

The fact you can't walk 10 feet from your office without some blue jacketed, clipboard wielding dropout leaping in front of you to ask a 'wacky' question before guilt tripping you about tigers?

All fine, because it's for charity. And now thousands of men are feeling the warm glow of giving and earning the status of martyrs, all for the noble act of leaving their faces alone for a month.

Well, wait a second - there - I've just donated to The Institute of Cancer Research, so this rant is now officially sponsored. It's justified, too.

Only of course it isn't. The real reason that I hate Movember - the month in which thousands of men are sponsored to grow a beard to raise awareness of testicular and prostate cancer - is because I hate myself. Or rather my own face. It's not a bad face as they go (like a young Del Boy, my friend tells me), but it is stubbornly, heartbreakingly incapable of producing hair. And so you see, Movember Man, Movember makes a mockery of men like me. If I joined in you wouldn't be able to tell. You'd just think I was auditioning for the role of Shaggy in the next Scooby Doo film.

In an age where the ineptitude of men is comic currency in every sitcom or advert you watch, where technology and metrosexuality conspire to rob us of the skills or looks that once defined us, facial hair is that last true, safe signifier of masculinity.

We may be useless nowadays, we may moisturise like girls, but by Christ, we still shave. Well I don't. No more than once a week, anyway.

At the age of 26, this is a source of much mirth to my friends and cause for strangers to purr with that most awful of lines "you're lucky, you really are", whilst wistfully stroking their 10 o' clock shadows, no doubt contemplating lathering up for their midday wrestle with the old Mach 16 (or whatever they're up to now).

Well it's not lucky. It's a terrible thing, being 'baby-faced'. Bearded men of distinction are plentiful: Che Guevara, Ernest Hemingway, Santa Claus.

What true men of distinction can't even muster a sideburn? I can think only of television's Nicholas Lyndhurst, Match of the Day pundit Gary Lineker, and, if you were that way inclined, David Cameron, all of whom compare pretty pitifully to Jesus Christ.

Like not being a millionaire, not being capable of growing a beard upsets me, because I know I'd be bloody good at it.

Yeah, I'd be inventive. Biker-hand bar tash one week, comedy Charlie Chaplin job the next. I'd love to retire, when I'm old, within a giant, uncle Albert-style face fuzz, but I can't.

What will my grandchildren think of me? Rubbish old beardless granddad, still having to show ID for his Special Brew.

If you're lucky, women might find you 'cute' if you have a face like polished ham. But they will never, ever find you rugged, mysterious or cool. It's just not possible. No matter how handsome your features, a plethora of sexy looks are denied you, undermined terminally by your innate childishness. And your peers? No one in the boardroom respects the man with the Moomin chin. No one.

Quite frankly, I'd rather we raised awareness for testicular cancer by spending the month with a single testicle popped out the front of our trousers all day than by Movember. I'd find it marginally less humiliating. So please, Movember Man, stop reminding me of my inadequacy, and go do a fun run or something?

To donate to the great causes supported by this year's Movember, visit the official Movember website.

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