It’s that time of year again: the scruffy faces, the itch, the discomfort and that hippie appearance. Gentlemen, bid farewell to your razors and say hello to No Shave November.
In the middle of what many consider to be the busiest part of the semester, students around campus are stashing away their razors. Some make this decision based on laziness, while others do it with good intentions in mind.
No Shave November has several origin stories and alternate names. The month is also known as “Movember” and “Noshember.” One Movember origin story includes two men from Australia beginning the tradition with 30 friends, growing out their facial hair for the purpose of spreading the word about men’s health issues such as prostate cancer. Since its start in 2003, their Movember campaign has spread across 21 countries.
Today, men who choose to grow out their body hair are supposed to ask for donations and then donate the proceeds to a charity, such as the American Cancer Society.
Given the number of men participating on campus, it’s safe to say that we have a pretty proactive bunch of men. But do most people know what the cause is really for?
“It’s a month where every guy is pressed not to shave and let his beard grow out,” said junior Anthony Cusmano. “It kind of feels like a competition between us guys to see who can grow out the most facial hair, to see who can look the most manly.”
Although some males are unfamiliar with the real reason behind No Shave November, there are others that are looking forward to contributing to the cause.
“I usually don’t participate, but I’m doing it this year,” said junior Phil Sokoloff. “After I found out that there was an actual cause behind it, it made me want to take part in it and do something that could help others. Plus, it will really test my willpower!”
According to the American Cancer Society, one in six men in their lifetime could be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The society reported, “There are 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer in a year in the United States.”
Another alarming fact is that the risk of prostate cancer increases with age, affecting American men more than any other type of cancer. Prostate cancer is a serious condition, but most men with it do not die from it.
Those who want to raise money for the cause are able to contact the American Cancer Society and send their donations specifically to prostate cancer for research.
Aside from taking part in a helpful cause, men say that both peer pressure and the way the event is advertised as a trend has to do with their decision to participate.
Social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram are abuzz with the hashtag #noshavenovember. Facebook also features a fan page with over 80,000 likes.
Social media websites are not the only places No Shave November can be found on the web. Websites such as noshember.com feature rules, regulations and even merchandise in support of the month.
“Me and my friends have a competition every year to see who will end up giving in and shaving first,” junior Jeff Makuta said. “It’s definitely an exciting thing to do, and we look forward to it every year.”