Movember 2023: 20 male creators speaking openly online about mental and physical health

Posted by Emilie McMeekan in Trending Influencers

3 months ago

In November, men’s health will be at the centre of the social conversation, in part because of the continuing impact of the Movember movement. It’s the 20th anniversary of Movember this year, and while the initiative began with the aim to raise awareness for prostate cancer, since 2003 Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world. In the charity’s words: “Mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer – we’re taking them all on.” The men’s health movement is an important one, given the sobering statistics: On average, men are dying 4.5 years earlier than women, and across the world one man dies by suicide every minute of every day.

Social media has consistently delivered in opening up the men’s health conversation. Celebrities such as Lewis Capaldi are also dialling up the dialogue – Capaldi’s very public struggle with Tourette’s and anxiety led to moving scenes at Glastonbury in June. Doctor Alex George and Matt Haig are other persons of interest who have spoken up about ADHD, autism and alcoholism, using their platforms to disseminate opinions honestly and discuss symptoms widely.

There are many creators who have dialogue with their followers, share openly or create relatable sketches about the men’s health experience, from coming out to cancer and anxiety – here’s a snapshot of 20. You might even get one or two of them to grow a moustache.

1. Adrian Bliss

Adrian Bliss is a TikTok actor and sketch writer whose work on the body and the Bible has earned him millions of followers. Bliss’s hilarious interpretations of culturally-known situations has led him to create successful campaigns for brands such as Amazon. A creative force.

2. Harry Trevaldwyn

Another actor who has made social media his stage, Harry Trevaldwyn is strong on competitive friendships that leave you feeling inadequate – a brilliant character performer, his sketches are full of social bite.

3. Mesha Moinirad

Better known as Mr Colitis Crohns on TikTok, Mesha Moinirad is a personal trainer who uses his platform to educate and raise awareness for those living with chronic illnesses, specifically conditions that require a stoma bag. Based in Dorchester, at the age of 23 he suffered a burst appendix, which led to him developing ulcerative colitis and ultimately having a stoma bag fitted. The bag had such an impact on his life he decided to share his story and create his platform.

4. Max Balegde

Max Balegde is a TikToker known for his disastrous alcohol-fuelled antics. However, he is also strong on mental health issues – he was at the Manchester bombing and has spoken movingly about the experience and how it led him to change his life. Funny and relevant.

5. Gwilym Pugh

Gwilym Pugh is a model and men’s lifestyle blogger who shares grooming, style and wildlife content across his socials. His beard is famous: Pugh’s modelling career took off when photographer Jonathan Daniel Pryce featured him in his book, 100 Beards/100 Days: The Contemporary Cult of the Hirsute. It’s no surprise that Pugh supports Movember Foundation UK – he has also raised money to bring awareness to various men’s health issues.

6. Moyo

Moyo Ajibade is a TikTok and Instagram performer whose sketches about life and the universe have earned him a deserved place on the UK TikTok roster. He also has a secondary account which deals with more personal issues.

7. Paddy Pimblett

Paddy The Baddy Pimblett is a mixed martial arts artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Last year, after winning a bout, he talked movingly about his friend Ricky who had committed suicide and pleaded men to “talk to each other”. The overwhelming response to his post-fight interview has led him to activate more mental health conversations.

8. Rob Lutter 

Rob Lutter is an adventurer who spent four years exploring the world on his bike and still lives a relatively nomadic existence in order to combat his depression and OCD. A photographer, he uses social media to share images from his travels and has actively raised money for mental health charities Mind and OCD UK.

9. Rowan Sawday 

Rowan Sawday is a poet, musician and spoken word artist who performs under the moniker Dizraeli and whose work draws from hip-hop and folk music traditions. Based between Brighton and London, Sawday’s subject matter is usually British society from a working class perspective. Since 2016 he has explored themes of immigration and consumerism, and he is particularly interested in projects that raise awareness of mental health issues.

10. Hussain Manawer

Another poet, Hussain Manawer is also an activist who uses his platforms to showcase his poems, which often focus on mental health and racial profiling, as well as campaigning for change within these areas. His 2022 collection of poems, Life Is Sad and Beautiful, was a Sunday Times Bestseller. Manawer grew up and is based in Ilford, east London. A self-proclaimed “mummy’s boy”, after her death he shared his experience of his grief and suicidal thoughts in an effort to encourage other men to seek help for mental illness.

11. Joshua Wolrich

For functional relationships with food, look no further than Joshua Wolrich. Wolrich is a surgical doctor for the NHS who also publishes health and nutrition content. He uses his platform to dispel or investigate nutrition and health trends in an attempt to provide a professional perspective on social media fads.

12. 3 Shots of Tequila

3 Shots of Tequila is a podcast, hosted by Marvin AbbeyKeith Dube and Tazer Black, which takes on topics such as sex and relationships, UK culture and Black heritage, as well as health issues. Alongside their podcast, the trio use their own personal channels to spark discussions surrounding the series. Based in London, Abbey, Dube and Black are childhood friends.

13. Jules Von Hep

Jules Von Hep is the founder of self-tanning brand Isle of Paradise and is at the frontline of the body confidence movement. Von Hep has shared extensively about his; an experienced speaker, he has co-hosted podcasts as well as appearing on multiple others. Originally from Yorkshire, Von Hep is strong on body image – having suffered from disordered eating – as well as the impact of homophobia.

14. Max Selwood

Max Selwood is a lifestyle TikToker and mental health advocate. He has OCD, depression and anxiety, which he discusses in his content to help build awareness and provide resources for others going through the same thing. During the coronavirus pandemic, he created a weekly “isolation diaries” series on Instagram to discuss his mental state. His current series involves handing out notes to strangers with positive messages on them. Very moving.

15. Billy and Jack

“Billy and Jack” is a partnership between Masterchef 2016 finalists Billy Wright and Jack Layer, which encompasses supper clubs, pop-up food events and a website through which they share recipes. They also work to raise awareness for Cancer Research UK. In 2017, Wright was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, had two tumours removed and underwent radiotherapy. The pair hosted a 24-hour supper club in February 2018 in aid of the charity.

16. Mark Lemon

When Mark Lemon was 12-years-old, his father was murdered. The difficulty in processing grief and his struggles with mental health led him to eventually seek help in his mid-twenties. He has an Instagram account dedicated to helping others access their grief.

17. Jake Beasley

Comedy creator with a popular series called “Are You Even British…?”, Jake Beasley is known for his ordinary lad vibe. He has also covered men’s mental health issues on his platform. Relatable is his middle name – he sells on TikTok Shop as well, specialising in useless lad stuff.

18. Outta Puff Daddys

TikTok dance troupes are still at the heart of the platform – so there’s joy in the page of the Outta Puff Daddys, who are dedicated to spreading joy and positivity and breaking mental health stigmas as they work their way through the TikTok dance lexicon. Dad dancing has never looked so good.

19. Dr Ranj Singh

Dr Ranj Singh is a doctor, television presenter, author and columnist who has been on Strictly Come Dancing and appeared as the resident doctor on This Morning. Dr Singh is from a Sikh family and identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and often uses his social media platform to discuss mental health. Singh’s wheelhouse is significant – from coming out issues and health concerns to workplace bullying.

20. Regan Walker

Regan Walker is a lifestyle Instagrammer who creates fashion content on his socials. Based in Manchester, Walker made his professional football debut for Bury Football Club at age 17 but was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma – an extremely rare type of cancer – the following year. After having surgery on his right leg, he could no longer play football and had to learn how to walk again.

By Emilie McMeekan, CORQ features director. Picture credit: Regan Walker