And so the New Year looms, and with it all of your grandiose plans to turn over a new leaf, resolve to make resolutions you can actually resolve to keep for once and generally become a better person. You know what happens next don’t you? What happens next is that it’s January the 8th, you’ve stopped going to the gym, started eating fry ups and given up on your latest attempt to read Ulysses. Come January 8th, besides getting those registration loans in Scottsdale, you haven’t really done much to improve your life in regards to abiding by your resolutions.
Well, 2016 can be different, and the way to make sure it’s different is to attach all your good intentions and best efforts to something bigger, to the kind of mass participation event which brings together people from all over the world in a concerted attempt to change that world. The kind of charitable events we’re talking about are those which seek to raise awareness and much needed funds around the area of men’s health because, let’s be honest, men are pretty rubbish when it comes to dealing with their health. Jokes about man flu aside, men really don’t like going to the doctor to seek help, and that’s especially true when it comes to ‘problematic’ issues such as prostate cancer, bowel cancer and the generally poor lifestyle choices which fuel ill health. The events detailed below represent opportunities to get involved to whatever degree happens to suit, whether that means making the effort to dress up and ride a bike or simply setting your grooming regime aside for a month or so.
Once you realize that the aesthetic inspiration for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride was a photograph of uber cool style icon and leading Mad Man Don Draper astride a classic motorbike, you’ll develop a pretty clear idea of what it involves. Taking place in over 400 cities worldwide, it features 30,000 men (and some ladies) dressed in their smartest and most stylish attire, sporting their nattiest facial hair, perambulating upon a two wheeled form of transport and generally looking extremely dapper in a very good cause.
The chances are that you’ve heard of Movember, even if you’ve yet to participate. Put simply, it’s organised by a foundation aimed at helping men all over the world live longer, happier and healthier lives. And the only thing that you have to do is spend November growing a moustache, in return for the sponsorship of friends and family and the chance to use your hairy top lip as an excuse to discuss the issues. Five million top lips joined in last time, so what’s stopping yours?
Takes the idea of Movember and runs with it. It’s not just moustaches, its beards, backs, legs and anywhere else that you usually spend your time grooming, trimming and tidying. Let it all sprout for a month, donate the cash you’d usually spend on shaving and see what those around are prepared to chip in. You never know, you might even enjoy your more hirsute status.
Spotting a trend? Yes, it’s facial hair again, under the slogan ‘Real Men Grow Beards’. The aim is for 5,000 blokes to grow the old chin fuzz and raise £500,000 to help Beat Bowel Cancer. After all, what could be more blokey than a beard? That’s right, a beard that helps to save lives and offer intensive support to those dealing with the ramifications of bowel cancer.
The focus on the role of grooming and hair shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Modern men are as concerned with looking good as they are being healthy, and if this means perfecting the hair on their head, face and the rest of their body then so be it.
This even extends to those men who are having problems producing hair of their own, with the number of hair transplants being sought rising on a year by year basis, presumably on the principle that if you can’t grow it, you may as well buy it. The fact that hair transplants are so safe, something confirmed by a research carried out by medical solicitors who only rarely deal with negligence claims relating to this kind of treatment, means that more and more follically challenged men are willing to take the plunge.
Whether you grow your hair, get it planted or trim it along particularly stylish lines, events like these represent a chance to not only experiment with your personal image, but also spend lots of 2016 feeling like you’re really able to make a difference.