Enthusiasts grow beards for cancer awareness

Photo by Joshua Wagner

By David Gisch

As the air grows colder, men across the globe put aside their razors for a month.

Graphic by Chris Perez

Whether it is for a good cause or because their significant others won’t complain as much, No-Shave November has arrived.

The idea of “No-Shave November” is accredited to more than one person. The first documented event occurred in 1999.

Like many good stories, this one began at a pub, when a group of young men claimed to have come up with the idea of growing mustaches for charity.

The idea formed into what is known as “Movember.” “Mo” is Australian slang for mustache.

The thought behind Movember would spread quickly. In 2004, the Movember Foundation charity used the event to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.

Through use of social networking and word of mouth, the Movember movement made it to the United States.

The term Movember died off, and “No-Shave November” was born.

According to the Movember Foundation website, men begin the first day of “Movember” clean shaven and grow, groom and style their facial hair for the next 30 days.

The hairy men compete to collect as much money as possible for various charity organizations.

Since 2007, the Movember Foundation has used the money collected to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the LiveStrong campaign.

Men around the world participate in No-Shave November.

Individuals, teams, organizations and even colleges can compete.

“I like the fact that I can grow out my facial hair for a good cause,” said Hayden Wells, an education major. “It’s getting colder, and I have an excuse to keep my face warmer.”

While facial hair might be stimulating for guys, some girls don’t find it as attractive.

“I didn’t support my boyfriend growing out his beard last year, but he didn’t listen and plans to do it again this year,” said Destiny Miller, a nursing major. “I decided to start my own November trend, “No-Sex November,” until he decides to shave his face.”

While the basic structure of the event intends for it to promote awareness and raise money for charity, most college students grow out their hair just for fun or to look more masculine.

“I enjoy growing the old beard out once a year for a few reasons,” said Tyler Westy, an engineering major.

“I look years older with facial hair, so it’s fun to see friends’ reactions to my beard. I also like not getting carded to buy alcohol for a change.”

Many participants won’t stop at the end of November. With Decembeard, Januhairy, Whiskurary and Mustache March, there are many more reasons to let the beard grow.

Whether supporting the cause for fun or to raise awareness for men’s health, put the razor and shaving cream away and set the beards free.


Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2011

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