The meaning behind No-Shave November

BY: HANNAH HARTZELL, STAFF REPORTER

 

many men become concealed behind a bushy beard or mustache during this time of year.  While the month of November certainly may come as a convenient excuse not to shave, “No-Shave November” primarily exists to raise cancer awareness.

Stubble and scratchy chins draw attention to the fact that all people have a nearly 41 percent risk of being diagnosed with cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Fifteen percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Despite the important message behind the movement, there are numerous men who do not know the motivation behind No-Shave November, but rather see is as a fun way to mix life up.

Butler student Alex Berry, a participant in No-Shave November for the first time this year, said he did it mainly for fun.

“My friends always wanted me to because I have quite thick facial hair,” Berry said.  “I’m not really doing it for (cancer awareness), I had no idea that was why No-Shave November was a thing.”

Berry said he has always considered the campaign “more of a social thing,” and said he doesn’t know anyone personally who has participated to raise cancer awareness.

While there may be a lack of understanding about the purpose of the No-Shave November efforts, there are numerous campaigns aiming to change that.

Groups such as “No-Shave November” and Movember share this common goal, while attacking cancer issues from differing angles.

The No-Shave November campaign is affiliated with the American Cancer Society and has the goal of raising awareness and funding for all types of cancers, according to its website.

Movember promotes awareness of prostate and testicular cancers specifically.

Regardless of the individual cancer they are fighting, the no-shave campaigns operate by largely the same principle: Participants let their facial hair grow out during the month of November, then donate money they would have spent on grooming and shaving toward cancer-based charities.

Movember also includes the female movement “Mo Sistas,” which encourages women to support the men in their lives, help men become healthier through physical activity and a healthy diet, and get involved with the Movember movement.

In addition, Movember has a specific campaign for college students, called “Big Moustache on Campus.”  This campaign has 12,815 members and has raised a collective $238,002 at universities across the United States, according to the Movember website.

For those involved in one of the Movember campaigns, there are events such as Official Gala Partés, Mo Parties and kick off Movember parties, according to the Movember website.

While college students, fellow coworkers and friends might be sporting facial hair this month, celebrities have also taken the chance to get on board.

Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Willie Geist and Carson Daly have also laid the razor and shaving cream aside for the entirety of November.

The Today Show has even encouraged viewers to send in their own No-Shave pictures, labeled #NoShaveTODAY.

Lauer and Roker even underwent live prostate exams on the show as part of the month long Today show initiative.

Many businesses have also gotten on board with the no-shave craze, according to The New York Times.

Grooming companies such as Gillette and Procter & Gamble have highlighted the Movember movement with ads and commercials promoting facial hair.  Other businesses such as Toms shoes and the sports apparel brand Electric are making limited edition products with the Movember logo, with a percentage of proceeds going to the charity.

The efforts of No-Shave November campaigns and their growing publicity are all being accomplished with the purpose of raising a awareness of a problem  prevalent in society.

Whether it’s done through a month without shaving, a donation, or simply word of mouth, No-Shave November is waging a war against cancer in a unique way.

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