Ah, the moustache.
It is among the very few flourishes available to a man for expressing something as subtle as individual style, right up to his very identity (think policeman, logger or French chef). But for all its glory and tradition, there is no question the moustache can also be a troublesome little creature. Just ask Kara Weeber.
“I thought they were pretty cool for a lot of years. I really admired them! Moustaches are fun and I wished I had one,” she says with a trail of laughter.
This month marks the third consecutive November the Thornhill resident will be sporting her ‘stash in support of the Movember Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign. She is one of many Mo Sistas who refuse to let a thing like gender get in the way of their enthusiasm for the Movember phenomena.
In the first year, Weeber jumped in face first, adorning the furriest specimen she could find. But, she says, “the things were really messy, really obnoxious, which is what I imagine a lot of guys today deal with: they’re itchy, they get in your food. No thank you.”
Weeber has now settled for the fake tattoo. For this interview her style of choice was “The Villain” (according to the Movember website), a curvy ribbon looped into circles at the tips.
“Everywhere I go, people are giggling or looking at me weird, which is good, but I have to prepare myself to be ready to talk about it. There have been community members who, once I explained what’s going on, have opened up their wallets right there.”
It’s a serious commitment. If she’s in public, the moustache is there. After careful consideration she once even wore it to a memorial—because the deceased was her biggest benefactor, she felt it was appropriate and respectful to honour him by keeping it on.
“It’s definitely getting easier to do this. [Prior to 2015] I thought about it for a long time, but getting up the nerve was a whole other ball game. But the catalyst came when a friend took his own life. He was an old friend from Dawson Creek, and one day he was just gone. It was a pretty hard thing to deal with, so I decided that was the year I was going to do it.”
The Movember Foundation initially promoted prostate exams and the prevention of prostate cancer. But since it’s first year in 2003, with only 30 Mo Bros the foundation has grown to 5.5-million people, raising close to $700 million for 1,200 projects worldwide. The foundation has also expanded its mission to include testicular-cancer prevention and other important but neglected issues pertaining to mental health, including the social connections of men, particularly those at risk of becoming socially isolated, gender stereotypes, the pressures of manhood and, most importantly, why so many men are driven to suicide.
Since 2015 Weeber has raised nearly $3,000 in honour of her friend. Considering participants are encouraged to raise between $100 and $200 per year, her accomplishment stands out. In her first year, Weeber set a goal of $500 but raised $600; last year her efforts reached $1,200; and this year she’s set her goal on $1,500. As of Day 14 she’s already reached her target so there’s no telling how high her total will climb.
To contribute to Weeber’s campaign, or any other member on her local Mosister Magic team, visit the Movember Foundation website at ca.movember.com. Click the ‘donate’ button and search for “Kara Weeber”.