No Shave November

Well it's November. Welcome to the grey. For college students, it's when the enthusiasm for fall term has turned into the grind toward finals, and the push to winter break.

For Americans, November's claim to fame is Thanksgiving, eating too much turkey, watching the game, and the associated shopping mayhem of Black Friday. But for college students around the world, the month of November is also important for another reason: No Shave November. 

The name pretty much summarizes: ditch the Gillettes for one month. 

My guess is that the average college student who doesn't shave in November might not even realize how, when, or why the tradition got started. They simply know their pals are doing it, and hey... does a college student really need an excuse to save a little money and be a little lazier? Exactly.

It's been suggested that Plato encouraged the young students of philosophy to skip shaving and grow out their beards, making them look more sagacious like their mentors. Maybe....? There's also the rumor that Karl Marx encouraged workers to grow their beards to piss off the ruling class. I doubt this is true, especially since rulers like Tzar Nicholas actually sported beards. But, Karl did rock a pretty good one.

The more direct modern movement of No Shave November has roots in a rally for guys to grow out great mustaches.

"Movember" is derived from No Shave November. The difference is this: Instead of not shaving your entire face for the month, you sprout and manicure yourself a mustache.

I got some background info from Youngstown State University. Here's the scoop: a few young men in Melbourne, Australia, coined the term in 1999. Then, in 2004, the Movember Foundation was founded; it’s a way for men to grow out their moustaches throughout November — and raise money for men’s health awareness at the same time.

That first year, the fundraiser raised $40,000. Since then, the movement has grown exponentially internationally. The growth the foundation has experienced was evident last year when 854,288 men in more than 15 countries registered to grow moustaches in honor of Movember. Last year, those men and their moustaches were able to raise $126.3 million, which was distributed to varying organizations who support men’s health.

Participants are dubbed either Mo Bros or Mo Sistas; Mo being short for Moustache (obviously).

To participate, all you have to do is.... nothing! Just don't touch your razor for the month. It's that simple. 

It seems the No Shave November is mostly considered a guy thing. Perhaps because there is such a backlash against women letting their hair grow naturally. Of course the actual truth is that many--if not most--women practice some form of relaxing their shaving habits in the winter months. I mean come on--who cares under long pants and long sleeves? There's not a lot of skin that gets shown in the winter, and frankly, shaving is chore. Simple as that.

So, while No Shave November is generally considered a men's event, women are encouraged to show support and join the cause.

So, Dear Reader, I challenge you to join me for No Shave November. Donate the money you usually spend on shaving and grooming for a month to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.

art by katy

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