New Zealand men fancy themselves more as a Tom Selleck than a Hulk Hogan, if Movember moustache trends are anything to go by.
It's that time of year again - when questionable outcrops appear on the faces of men, all to raise money for men's health. Movember is back and, since Tuesday, men have been registering their participation and lining up sponsors.
Last year, more than $100 million was raised around the world. Moustache-growers in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland took part. New Zealand raised $938,000.
Movember works with charities that support men's health; this year money raised here will be split equally between the Mental Health Foundation and Cancer Society, with a focus on prostate cancer.
New Zealand manager Robert Dunne said there was no problem getting Kiwi men interested in involvement. The problem was getting them to register officially. Many just used the month as an excuse not to shave.
He estimated about 30,000 men had begun sprouting moustaches but had not registered yet. About 5000 people have signed up so far.
The Movember website went live on September 15 and the focus this year is the online campaign. Dunne says people can register online as individuals, team captains or team members, and can also donate.
"You get your own Mo Space page, where you can share photos and get sponsors from there."
There is also an iPhone app and a means to connect a Movember profile to a Facebook account.
Dunne says at a "shindig" at the end of the month prizes will be awarded to Best Mo in Character, Team Mo, Miss Movember and Man of Movember 2011. People can register their parties to get posters, donation boxes, stickers, badges and sashes sent to them. Or anyone who has raised more than $100 online will get a ticket to one of the gala parties.
Dunne says it usually takes several months after the end of Movember for all the funds to be collated. Prizes for funds raised would be given out on December 9.
Women - Mo Sistas - are integral to the campaign, because they are the ones who push the health message to their partners and are pivotal in organising teams and rallying fundraising barbecues and parties. "And you need permission to grow a moustache."
Dunne says he has noticed a shift in moustache fashion. "It seems to be in the last couple of years, more moustaches are straight across the top of the lip. We call them the slug or the caterpillar. It's a more sophisticated moustache."
The country is backing the cause - Timaru is even changing its name to Timoru for the month.
* nz.movember.com. Sign up, donate, share photos, host a party or check out what events are happening near you. Phone (09) 889 0466. Email firstname.lastname@example.orgBy Susan Edmunds