t is that time of year again: the Halloween candy is gone, the sun now sets by 5 p.m., and we begin to anticipate the food comas that will inevitably strike us soon on Thanksgiving. It can only mean one thing: November is here!
In recent years, a tradition for men during this month is growing out their facial hair. This experience has become known as No-Shave November. The basic concept of it is you shave on either Halloween night or early the morning of Nov. 1, and you refrain from shaving throughout the month.
No-Shave November, also known as Mustache November or Movember, was started to help spread prostate cancer awareness. To support the cause, two web-based organizations were generated named No-Shave November and Movember, respectively. No-Shave November’s mission statement “is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free.” Movember’s goal is “to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.” Both organizations encourage donations to support cancer research and prevention.
This phenomenon is starting to become one of the most embraced American traditions. “No-Shave November is just as much of a tradition as are Super Bowl parties or March Madness,” senior Steve Smith said. “It is a great way for guys to show off their winter weather facial hair and help out a good cause … even those who cannot grow facial hair or have any are encouraged to participate and support the cause.”
Senior Nate Blunk created his own version of this tradition called “Go-Shave November” since he regularly wears a beard. “I planned on shaving every day of November in preparation for a time in my life when shaving must become more than a bimonthly ritual,” Blunk said. Unfortunately, as my friends had predicted, my skin got pretty raw and I’m now participating in just ‘Normal-Shave November.’”
Even though the main goal is to help spread cancer awareness, men participate in this event for various reasons. Some men do it to avoid grooming because shaving is tedious and time consuming. Participating in No-Shave November gives a man the comfort of having one less thing to do in the morning.
Other men want to see how rugged they look with a beard. Look at Rick Grimes or Hershel Greene’s beard in “The Walking Dead.” Even in a zombie apocalypse, they know how to pull off great-looking beards. Cullen Bohannon’s beard in “Hell on Wheels” is the epitome of rugged.
Some men even compete to see who can grow the best, longest or bushiest beard. Several Elizabethtown College students are participating in a No-Shave November contest sponsored by S.W.E.E.T. Students participated in a shave-off, in which they shaved their beard and had their picture taken afterward. Every week, new photos of them will be posted outside the Hub to see their progression. Students can pick for their favorite participant at the Hub. At the end of the month, the student with the most votes wins a prize, and judges will decide on the winners of additional prizes.
Despite the enthusiasm for this event, several male students refuse to participate because they think beards turn women off. However, several female students highly support this tradition.
“I enjoy No-Shave November very much,” senior Ellen Wilson said. “I think it’s a really fun concept, and I don’t understand why some people don’t like it. I love a good beard; they do wonders for a guy. I wish it were No-Shave Forever instead of No-Shave November.”
While there are girls who love beards, others do not care for them.
Face it guys, few women are attracted to muttonchops or the handlebar mustache. Only Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead can pull this look off. But men should still participate in this awesome tradition. “I’ve never been partial to beards in general,” junior Assistant Features Editor Emily Vasas said, “but I think No-Shave November is a great cause regardless of whether girls like facial hair on guys or not … to me it is more important to consider what the event represents than it is to argue over whether hair is attractive to guys or girls.”
This just goes to show that men should grow out their beards and participate in this awesome tradition. Who cares whether or not you look like Grizzly Adams in the end? It is all about having fun. Men everywhere are embracing this tradition; you should, too. Try growing your beard for ten days if you do not want to participate throughout the month. You may be surprised by the results. After all, the only way you can figure out what you like is to try it. Embrace your inner wild man and let your beard grow.