A moustachioed man poses with Van Gogh's Starry Night painting (a swirl of blue and yellow) -- a painting that he painted with his moustache as the brush
Mo Your Own WayImage by: Henry Myers
A moustachioed man poses with Van Gogh's Starry Night painting (a swirl of blue and yellow) -- a painting that he painted with his moustache as the brush
14 October 2022

A Moustache Masterpiece for Mo Your Own Way

Henry Myers
4 minutes read time

Why I Mo

I first heard about Movember through some friends in 2010 while I was in college. The cause really struck a chord with me, so I decided to join and grow a moustache for the first time.

My whole life, I've watched the men in my family cope with health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, neurological disease and cancer. During high school, everyone in my year was shocked when two of our seemingly happy peers took their own lives. Still, it wasn't until I heard about the Movember movement that I realized just how little us guys talk about our health.

Even today, men’s health problems (and especially mental health issues) still seem strangely taboo. Lots of guys isolate themselves when they’re sick or suffering because it seems like they’re the only ones going through that kind of situation - which just keeps the cycle going. In the Movember community, I found a huge group of people pushing for change - and it’s amazing to see my friends, colleagues and family join in.

I love seeing all the initiatives that my raised funds contribute to. From local support groups to the online resources, it feels like the projects are chosen with care and actually make a difference. That’s what makes these dollars so important.

Finding the Right Challenge

Over the years, I went through quite a few fundraising ideas: bake sales, weekly auctions, raffles, painting commissions, video production, social media pushes and more. They each had different levels of success - and came with wildly varying levels of stress.

I ended up settling on a fundraiser that’s fun, rewarding, and easy to organize - painting with my moustache.

While I’ve tried to raise money with my paintings in various ways - like physical auctions, online sales and accepting commissions - the method that’s worked the best for me is painting a single piece during the month and giving donors 1 raffle entry for every dollar donated. It gives all donors a chance to win, and allows me to spend more time speaking to people about the cause.

Getting Creative with Mo Your Own Way

The road that led me to yearly moustache-paintings is pretty much one of chance - and it all started in Movember 2012, when I was desperately trying to come up with ways to raise funds. The best idea I managed to come up with was reaching out to my Facebook connections and promising that whoever donated the most that month could choose a moustache-related dare for me to do at the end of the month. I expected to be forced to shave it into a silly shape or go around with half of a Mo for a couple of days, but instead, the friend who won asked me to use it to paint him a Christmas tree. It wasn’t great, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I organized more Movember fundraisers over the following years, but I didn’t think about moustache-painting again until 2016, when I was trying to come up with prizes for weekly Movember raffles at the office. Expecting my coworkers to get a kick out of seeing me do something so ridiculous, I made one prize a moustache-painting of a subject of their choice. The winner requested Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and it came out great!

That experience gave me the confidence I needed and made it clear that people find the idea interesting. Since then, moustache-painting has gone from an afterthought to the main pillar of my Movember fundraising efforts. To date, I’ve completed a total of 11 paintings using only my moustache.

Havin’ Fun, Doin’ Good

My inspiration mainly comes from my dad. For as long as I can remember, he’s openly spoken to me about his health and gone out of his way to help the people around him that were going through hard times. I’ve come to realize just how uncommon that is.

He also taught me that no matter the project or the idea you’re working on, the best way to get it to stand out is by going the extra mile and applying yourself until the very end - long after most people would have stopped caring.

It’s been an amazing experience so far. Let’s be honest: moustache painting is a pretty silly idea. That hasn’t stopped me from giving it my all each Movember - and I think that people notice and respect that effort. Looking back, I’m proud of every dollar raised and every discussion started.

I now have 3 boys of my own and dream of them growing up in a world where men talk about their health with friends and know that it's ok to reach out for help when they need it. That’s why I support Movember.

Support Henry’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for men’s health and learn more about choosing your own adventure with Mo Your Own Way.