The tradition of No Shave November was started back in 2004 when some Australian men decided to grow out their hair and embrace it to raise awareness and show support for cancer patients who lost their hair due to treatment. The idea behind No Shave November is to donate the money that would be spent on shaving and cutting hair to the American Cancer Society.
What began as a challenge between a group of friends who coined the term “Movember” has since become a nationwide phenomenon with people all over the country participating in it. The premise is to raise awareness for prostate cancer as well as other cancers. The trend has also been seen in many celebrities and public figures wanting to show their support of the cause. It is interesting to see so many people trying to support those who may be fighting with cancer or know someone who is and it is empowering to see so many supporters.
Many organizations today work and support No Shave November, such as the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and many more. Fundraising is set up on the website no-shave.org, where there are multiple ways to participate, even if you cannot grow a beard yourself.
On the local level, a person can write a story about him or herself. From there, people donate money. There is a separate leaderboard for these people going solo. Additionally, a group of people can form a team who then compete to see who can raise the highest donation. Each team belongs to an organization who then donates the proceeds to a cancer research, with a leaderboard for the teams as well. According to the website, over 1.5 million dollars have been raised by over 30 thousand people so far.
Aside from donations, one can support No-Shave November through the various merchandise sold. On some websites, a person can get No-Shave November shirts and bracelets, wherein the proceeds with go towards cancer research. Fliers advertising Movember can be printed out for free to display as well.
Today No-Shave November remains prominent through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. People post macho photos of themselves online with different styles of trimmed and groomed beards. Some who cannot grow much in such a short amount of time still show whatever they were able to grow in a comical manner. Remember, it’s not the beard on the outside that counts, it’s about the growth on the inside.
When asked about their motivations for participating in the No Shave November challenge, many are enthusiastic to participate to show their support for those with cancer while also being allowed to let loose with their hair. To some, it is also viewed as an opportunity to feel “free” of social conventions of proper grooming.
Some people are not too happy about the notion of No-Shave November, however, ignoring the positive contributions that it has made. Critics call it too gendered and enforces gender norms which is in effect sexist to women. The promotion of bro behavior leads to more of an emphasis on the beard then cancer research itself. This, however, should not stop anyone who is motivated to join in on the fad. Such opinions are for harsh cynics, who attribute anything and everything a man does as sexism. Grow your beard out, or don’t, it is ultimately your choice.