The beginning of November marks the beginning of many things. Daylight savings time, actual cold weather for us in California, and a month of no shaving. You may have heard several different names for the occasion, names such as : Movember,Noshember, and the popular No Shave November.What is it all really for? Many people go through the month growing their facial hair for fun, not knowing that there is an actual purpose. Here are some of the actual reasons why people drop their razors.
The main reason that you might of heard of by now is awareness for cancer. A couple of organizations have created websites explaining the cause and what to do. The first one to check out is http://www.no-shave.org/. Here, they explain that we should embrace our hair this month, which many cancer patients lose. Instead of spending any time and money on shaving, take the effort to fight cancer. This can go for both men and women. Their aim is to have people take the money that is normally spent on shaving products like razors and shaving cream, and donate it to the American Cancer Society (whom no-shave.org partnered up with). By skipping out on a mundane task such as shaving, funds may be accumulated for a greater cause.
The second website is us.movember.com, which has more of a centralized focus toward men. Unlike the other website, this website encourages men to still grow their facial hair, but also keep it nice and groomed. While rockin a nice mustache, one has to raise awareness for men’s health. The health factors that movember wants men to be aware of is prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and even problems with mental health. This movement has helped organizations across the world to raise funds for men’s health. They are partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Livestrong Foundation, Prevention Institute, and many others. Movemember’s main goal is to “Change the face of men’s health”. By encouraging men to grow out the mustache that they normally don’t have, they help spread the message of awareness.
Both websites are built around the concept of community. You can start your own “team” on both sites, tracking the progress you guys have made with raising money, awareness, and facial hair (leg hair if you’re a lady). The progress will be shown on leaderboards for everyone in the online community to see. Movember even encourages throwing parties or events for this month, which still spreads awareness and involvement. Other things both websites offer are the purchasing of merchandise. That’s right, mustache merchandise. Money from the products still go to charitable organizations. Besides, novelty clothing is always a great way to spark conversation.
While these two websites/organizations ask people to grow out mustaches for a reason, one focuses more on the act of just growing facial hair. Noshember.com encourages people to grow out their facial hair due to November being one of the busiest months of the year. To “unite in the height of laziness”. Although this website does have some sections talking about charities, it’s not really making the purpose clear. It just seems as if the website was designed to tell people to grow their body hair just because. They just created lists of arbitrary rules that people can follow if they don’t want to shave this month.
With so many random acts deemed to raise awareness or charity for something, one may ask if this is all really working. Apparently, yes. Movember has raised $559 million since their start in 2003, also gaining millions of followers worldwide. No-shave.org has raised hundreds of thousands for the American Cancer Society. By taking this month of November and making people grow mustaches and bodily hair, these organizations have been creating a difference.
To be honest, before writing any of this, I was clueless on the real reason of “No Shave November”. On the actual things that this unofficial event has done for the world. When asking a few friends and classmates before on what’s the purpose, some would say, “I don’t know, awareness or something.” And even though I think the third website I talked about was kind of pointless, I do agree with some of their points. November is a hectic month for those in school, since it is nearing the end of the semester and students start doing anything to keep their grades up. I didn’t really participate in movember before, but last year when my schedule became busier, I participated. That was when I believed it to be just for social media, a mere hashtag and trending topic. But now, after being more aware, i’ll definitely be growing my mustache for a greater cause and purpose.
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