Let's get hairy for Movember

Photo courtesy of Patrick Phipps/Flickr

Ever wondered why the month of November boasts some of the hairiest beards on campus?

The answer—a shock to many—is “No Shave November.”

According to urbandictionary.com, No Shave November is defined as “The month of November in which you don't shave any hair of your body but instead you grow more bestial, brutish, and manly.”

Besides having to put up with unsightly facial hair and the guy sitting next to you in class bragging about how he got food in his beard for the first time, is there a point to this unofficial holiday?

“I don’t want to be that random guy growing a crazy beard,” Nick DiAntonio, LGSOE’14, says. He doesn’t know about the origins of No Shave November.

It all began one November, coined “Movember” in Melbourne, Australia, in 2003, when a group of guys decided to partake in a mustache growing contest. The idea was to raise awareness for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer. Soon, other ‘bros’ worldwide were participating, according to ubspectrum.com.

“It’s pretty funny that the guys don’t shave,” Debbie Jean-Philippe, CSOM’16, says. She is a supporter of No Shave November, so long as it is to raise men’s health awareness.

The rules are quite simple. On Nov. 1, ‘bros’ worldwide sport their clean-shaven faces. The object is to grow out a beard as the month progresses—yes, that means NO shaving. For 30 days, guys all over campus will begin to look more and more “brutish” or as Movember United States puts it, “walking, talking billboards, for our men’s health causes—prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.”

Christian Coletta, A&S’15, supports the movement and says “having a way to spread awareness is a cool thing.”

Photo courtesy of kynan tait/Flickr

The No Shave November community today is a tight knit collection of foundations and websites such as Movember United States and LIVESTRONG. They encourage men everywhere to register and even begin teams in their communities to spread the word. Other websites, such as noshavenov.com encourage men to participate by hosting a “Manliest Beard Competition.”

“It’s definitely worth it,” DiAntonio says even though he originally wasn’t aware of the concept that No Shave November tries to promote.

Whatever the incentive, the cause is a worthy one. According to the American Cancer Society, one in every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men next to skin cancer and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men next to lung cancer. Approximately one man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.

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