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Movembering Into 2021

It would’ve been great to host one last Suitable Sunday event in this month of November to wrap up 2020. Unfortunately for obvious reasons, things didn’t work out.IMG_1404[1]The main reason for wanting to host Suitable Sunday in this particular month was to continue with the symposiums that we’ve been having. The discussion was going to be based on the Movember movement and the importance of this initiative. When I first heard of the word “Movember”, all I knew was that it had something to do with men growing a moustache during the month of November. It was only in 2019 I got to know more about the campaign as I was invited to a Movember event hosted by L’Oreal.

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What is Movember?
Movember is an Annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awereness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide.
Although the growing of moustaches lost its popularity, the organization is still growing strong raising money for men’s health. Globally, Movember has raised $994 million in 17 years.

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Why?

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Looking at the year we’ve had, it was befitting for to have this conversation. During lockdown, I documented quarantine conversations with gentlemen in the fashion space. I also had more conversations with other gents who are into sartorialism but different professions. The pandemic affected a lot of people in different ways but definitely in negative ways. Suitable Sunday gatherings were not and still not all about gents being suited and booted, posing for cameras. Initially, I created a platform to continue with conversations about articles published on the blog. However, the movement grew and it became a meaningful networking space of gentlemen from all walks of life but all having the same passion to the modern lifestyle of a gentleman.

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In one of the articles I posted previously, I mentioned that a lifestyle of a redefined gentleman goes a long way. It’s a chain of aspects that one has to own, maintain and control. There was a point in my journey when I had to take a break from taking pictures. At that time I suffered from acne and I looked miserable on camera as my confidence and self-esteem was dampen. I didn’t know who to speak to but eventually I consulted a professional and the rest was history.

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The lifestyle goes beyond wearing a dapper suit, it is also taking care of one’s well-being. This year as we were stunned by this pandemic, there were other pandemics that we faced here in South Africa. We saw the rise of Gender Based Violence. More so, we saw a rise in mental health cases.
Since we couldn’t have the opportunity to host a symposium to discuss such issues as gentlemen, I thought I should document it on the blog.

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Mental Health
It is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.
Five Types of Mental Illnesses
• Anxiety disorders, including panic attacks and phobias
• Depression
• Personality disorder
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.
Here are some of the aspects I personally suggest that they lead to the above illnesses.
Pride
We all went through tough times and some of us are still going through the most. However, I realized even pre-pandemic that most men seldom express their inner feelings or show emotions more especially the not so good ones. It was so amazing when golfers bump into each other on the golf course, they would always say how great they have been as well as their businesses. I am not disputing nor denying that but from my time in the golfing world that was not always the case. The point I am raising here is that most men have so much pride, that even when there was help on the doorstep, our pride always got in the way.
Dishonesty
That pride overshadows the thinking to a point that they become not only dishonest to others but themselves.
Denial
Dishonesty to themselves leads to being in denial of everything that is not going well or the wrong things that they end up dwelling into.
Envy
Not everyone was negatively affected and there are some that were negatively affected but recovered effectively and they started making progress. For those surrounding those that are successful, not all of them are happy to see the progress that others are making.
Anger
The pressure from seeing your peers doing well leads to frustration which builds up anger and that may another reason how some of the violence against the vulnerable begins. Statistics by WHO states that although more women have thoughts of committing suicide, men commit suicide more frequently than women.

Some of the things that kept me sane during these challenging times.
Opening up
I know sometimes my conscience wouldn’t let me as I would start thinking that when I do open up, I’ll be the recent gossip story. However, it helped as talking about my challenges didn’t make them disappear but it made it easier for other gents to also open up.
Acceptance
In talking to others about the challenges we going through, I learnt to accept what has happened and in that way, dealing with the current situations became manageable.
Gratitude
There was a time I saw myself as a failure overshadowed with thoughts of regrets, the “should haves, could haves and the would haves”. But I learnt to be grateful for the little that I have such as family, friends and the ability to still do what I love.

I am no shrink nor a teacher for that matter but through my blog, I’ve always shared what I have learnt through my journeys. We are heading to the festive season and that’s generally a happy and joyful time. However, this year it won’t be as jolly as so much was lost and that may trigger negative thoughts which may lead to substance abuse which may lead GBV cases or the worst case scenario of suicides.
Since such a conversation could have been an ideal discussion at Suitable Sunday, this is an opportunity to continue this discussion digitally and hopefully we could get the female readers to share their opinion.

Until next time
Suitably Yours
Brian Lehang
SUITABLE MAN

 

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18 thoughts on “Movembering Into 2021

  1. most men have so much pride, that even when there was help on the doorstep, our pride always got in the way. (Well said here, I couldn’t agree more )

    1. Opening up doesn’t necessarily mean telling the whole world what you going through, but there’s got to be those people close to you that you can share.

  2. It needs to be shared as many as possible, we really suffer and afraid to open up to each other whatever the case may be.

  3. This was a very great read , most of the above a lot of men are embarrassed to talk about, I think having writers like you in the society will help bridge the gap 👌

  4. This is encourage a lot of men to open up and talk about their issues/challenges…Thank You Brian for bringing up such topics..👏👏👏👏

    1. Thank you for reading, let’s hope that we as men will find the courage and comfort in opening up…

  5. What an insightful article
    We need more platforms like this where man would talk to each other to encourage and try find solutions to the challenges we face

    Thank you

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