Anton Taylor on Movember

We chatted to the king of facial fuzz about the month of the Mo and more

The hairiest time of the year for both guys and gals (only for different reasons), Movember, also known as moustache season, calls on men worldwide to nurture lustrous mouth brows for the full 30 days of November in an effort to get people talking about common male health concerns, like prostate and testicular cancer. Conceived under boozy circumstances by a few mates in an Australian pub in 2003, the charity drive has since sprouted followings in almost every corner of the globe, raising bucket loads of cash for the cause and roping in over 3 million bristly participants in total to date.

And perhaps because braaing and biltong simply breed hirsuteness, for some time now, South Africa (SA) has been right up there at the fuzzy forefront of the movement. Most notably, one of our very own, the now infamous Anton Taylor, has done our kingdom proud and been recognised on a global scale for his moustachioed achievements: he was crowned International Man of Movember in 2011 (meaning, he was deemed as having the single best Mo across 21 competing countries) and Mr Movember South Africa in 2012 (he missed reclaiming the world title by a hair’s breadth).

Equally well known for his “Jozi Shore” YouTube series and his status as SA’s Van Wilder (he headed up several UCT social committees and is arguably the only person alive to have graduated with a B.A. in five majors), this party-crazed Capetonian, who swears he’s not Greek but had to start shaving in primary school, has a controversial opinion on almost everything.  But since his core speciality is upper lipholstery, we decided to pick his brain about all things Movember related.

Here’s what the shaggy Web celeb has to say about everything from his next hairy moves to what makes be-whiskered men better suitors.

Q&A WITH ANTON TAYLOR: MOVEMBER, MOUSTACHES, MASCULINITY AND MORE

We’re assuming you’re keen to reclaim your position as International Man of Movember this year. Tell us, what are your plans for world doMOnation in 2013?

To be honest, I’m actually planning to retire from competitive Mo growing this year. I feel I’ve achieved all there is to achieve in this arena, and the fact of the matter is, I’ve been casting a great hairy shadow upon the rest of the world with my hirsute accomplishments. I think it’s time to sit back and give men with lower testosterone levels a shot at the prize.

And when you did participate competitively, how did you get your Mo to look so luscious? Take prenatal vitamins? Adopt a strict eating regimen? Use a special brand of horse shampoo?

Well, I have to say, as with many of the models you see on billboards or in magazines, genetics plays a huge role in how I look. But there are, of course, things that I can do to enhance hair growth and to make my beautiful face jewellery even more beautiful (yes, it is possible!). I’d recommend Bob Martin dog biscuits for any fledgling Mo Bro looking to cultivate a lush, flowing Mo.

Now that you’re abdicating the thrown, there are likely plenty of men out there eager to step up to the plate and contend in your place. Who would you suggest they look to as a moustache role model?

For me, there are two men that really stand out: Tom Selleck and Freddie Mercury. Both of these stars owned their Mos and sported them unapologetically, effectively changing the world as we know it. In fact, it is clearly documented that the two drew power from the hair above their lips, and this in turn helped the one to become the greatest actor and the other the greatest singer  the globe has ever seen. Furthermore, they crushed the fallacy that Mos are a hindrance when it comes to romantic endeavours – Tom and Freddie were sex symbols for men and women across the world.

And who should they absolutely NOT draw inspiration from?

Pretty much any public figure who has the ability to grow a Mo but deliberately decides not to, in turn scorning their God-given gift and neglecting their duty to show the masses how stunningly beautiful a moustache can look on a man.

Tell us about your worst Mo moment?

I’ve had a few moments involving mayonnaise that send chills down my spine. I’d advise Mo Bros never to eat food with condiments, like mayonnaise, tomato sauce or mustard, in public, and especially not when in the company of the fairer sex – they just don’t appreciate it.

And your most memorable?

Winning the world title in 2011 was a pretty big deal. I remember being full of trepidation and anxiety before the Cape Town event, and then when my name was announced as the winner, I can recall the great relief and joy that flowed through me as I danced as obnoxiously as I could on the stage in front of all the losers. Once off the stage, I was inundated with drink offers, and I hooked up with the hottest girl in the club, which was nice, as I was then able to give back to the community and help her live her dream too.

South Africa has been a prominent player in the whole Movember movement. Why do you think the campaign’s hit home so hard with Mzansi men?

I think the whole vibe of Movember is really well suited to our men. It started in Australia, which in some ways has a similar culture to ours, and I think the guys here just like the whole spirit of the movement.

Do you think it’s unfair that women can’t actively participate in the campaign?

But women can participate. In fact, I feel that some of my strongest competition in the run for the world title came from female contenders in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region. However, ladies that don’t have hair above their lips can still vociferously show their support and also promote the cause behind Movember, which is ultimately what it’s all about.

What consolation can you give the girlfriends and wives of all the Mo Bros out there to help them get through the month?

Well, if we go by the (bizarre) assumption that this isn’t the best month of the year for ladies (after all, men are transformed from churlish little boys into manly, swashbuckling Adonises), then I would grudgingly suggest that they just take solace in the knowledge that they are not alone and that many women across the globe are in the same position.

It’s been rumoured that a ‘stache makes men better suitors. What are your thoughts on this?

This is true. It’s been proven in many well-respected scientific journals (which, unfortunately, I don’t have on hand right now) that Mo Bros are by far the best lovers. I mean, just the concept of a Mo – a gentle, feathery stroker positioned above the lips – suggests romance at its finest.

If your Mo had a pick-up line, what would it be?

One at a time ladies, one at a time.

You’ve formerly proven you’ve got the balls to go big in the world of whiskers, but do you think this charity drive is ACTUALLY doing good things for the nether region of guys globally, or is Movember just a lot of fluff?

Certainly. The huge amount of money that Movember has raised for men’s health issues is astounding, and the great thing about this movement is that behind all the hair and fun, a number of worthy causes are being supported. Also, apart from the cash raised, Movember is improving awareness and getting men to go for check-ups. It’s a great initiative to be part of.

HOW TO JOIN THE MOVEMBER MOVEMENT

Like the inspirational Anton, you too can (and should) cultivate a glossy ‘stache over the month of November. Though, what many don’t know is that just cultivating a crumb catcher isn’t sufficient – you need to formally register to officially take part in this campaign. To do so, visit za.movember.com (you have the option of signing up solo, starting a team or joining an existing group). Once you’ve enrolled, the idea is to recruit people to sponsor your facial fur journey so as to raise cash for the cause and effectively help change the face of men’s health.

Remember though, there are a few rules to Mo growing, which go something like this:

  • Every Mo Bro must start the first day of Movember with a clean-shaven face
  • Moustaches must be grown and groomed for the entire month of Movember
  • There is to be no joining of the Mo to your sideburns
  • There is to be no joining of the handlebars to your chin
  • Every Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true country gentlemen

Otherwise, happy sprouting!

Compiled by Dayle Kavonic

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Catch old guys fighting for prostate and testicular cancer at the Ballie Beatdown.

Keen to grow a Mo but not sure which style to pick? Sneak a peek at our guide to moustache profiles for Movember.

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