Somewhere deep down in every man there exists the desire to grow a robust, awe-inducing mustache. Maybe it’s curiosity, a subconscious need to espouse one’s masculinity, or perhaps a simple yearning to rebel against the clean-shaven conventions of our sterile 21st century society. In any case, few men these days ever act upon this mysterious urge — until November that is.

This past Monday marked the beginning of a period known as Movember (mustache + November). Launched in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 by a group of facial hair aficionados, Movember encourages men everywhere to grow a mustache for the entire month of November. The movement is meant to raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and depression, while also serving as an excuse for guys to look totally badass.

In 2004 the campaign raised $55,000 in donations, all of which went directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. That number has grown significantly over the years as the movement gained a popular following, with the Movember Foundation raising roughly $42 million in 2009.

The campaign now has a U.S.-based equivalent, which directs its donations to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG foundation. To donate or to learn more about how to grow your own lip-bound statement of supreme manliness, visit us.movember.com.