No Shave November Utilizes Social Media for a Worthy Cause

By Larissa Ledo
On November 7, 2016

Photo courtesy of Francesco Lodolo, Flickr

Just like how October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, November is also a celebrated cancer awareness month bringing attention to diseases that include lung, pancreatic and stomach cancer. To help bring awareness to the cause, many men let their beards and hair grow out and post the progress on social media as a sign for cancer awareness, refraining from shaving for the entire month in an event known as No Shave November, also known as Movember. The purpose of it is for men to embrace hair that most cancer patients lose during chemotherapy. The money usually spent on personal grooming is often donated by participants to patients and to raise everyone’s awareness to the disease, since it unfortunately effects many people we all know.

I believe participating in such a promotion for a whole month for such good cause is respectable. During the summer of 2015, many people took part in the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” where people would nominate their friends and family on social media to dump a bucket of ice on themselves and donate money afterwards. The challenge went on for about two months to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and everyone got involved, including celebrities. The ALS Association raised millions of dollars that went toward studies and raising awareness.

The same can be done with No Shave November. There is an actual website for the campaign where people can sign up to participate. They can create their own fundraising page by signing up alone or with a team and have a big fundraiser to help those in need. The money goes toward providing free information and services to cancer patients and caregivers. In October, many people wear pink ribbons and clothes for breast cancer awareness. By doing so, many are influenced to donate and help out, so why not have men do the same with their hair for other types of cancer?

Some men might not actually donate the money they did not spend on their monthly personal grooming to the cause. However, they still participate by not shaving and spreading the word to others, just like many did with the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Yet, the association was still able to receive a lot of donation and attention. I have witnessed many guys who will shave the first day of November or the last day of October to start the month fresh. As soon as the month started, it was all over social media. Many people publicly announced No Shave November was starting and posted pictures of their bare faces to prove it. Many will post pictures when the month is coming to an end of how their beard and hair looks. There was also a hashtag on Twitter #NoShaveNovember that both men and women were using, including people from across the globe.

Using people to promote a campaign is a better way to use social media than using it solely for personal enjoyment. When people are actually participating and spreading the cause by word of mouth, people will actually hear about it instead of just taking a glimpse at their phone. Cancer awareness is everywhere and we are constantly reminded of how horrible it is. People are always donating and creating foundations to help those with cancer. However, dedicating promotions like No Shave November to the cause and getting people to participate and have fun is a better way to remind us all of it.

lledomen@ramapo.edu

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