No Shave November

November 18, 2011

Political Theory

Has anyone really thought of the concept of “No Shave November?” I did not really pay attention to it in years past but decided this year to read about it and see what it is all about.  I realized I really liked the idea.  In short, it is a month where men do not really pay attention to their appearance and decide not to shave to raise awareness about prostate cancer. Sure some can pull it off, but clearly others cannot. The beauty of it is that no on cares. I thought it was interesting and decided that I should try it. With that being said, I have not shaved since the month started.

Two weeks in, and I realized that a lot of students are partaking in this event. A lot of people are unable to grow real beards, and look quite foolish, but it has nothing to do with that.  It has everything to do with men coming together and representing themselves for a great cause.  This month is also associated to “Movember,” which is the same concept, just leaving the mustache as opposed to the whole face.

With all of this in mind, this brings me to my question; should appearance really get in the way? Should people be told they cannot grow a beard or have long hair? A lot of people do not shave for the excuse of No Shave November, but most would not grow out a beard if they did not have a reason to represent something. A lot of people do not because of school, jobs, or even family.  But for some reason this one-month it is acceptable to keep the beard going.  Some schools do not let their students grow out beards or grow long hair because it is a “bad representation” on their school.  I personally believe that it is not necessarily a bad asset to grow out hair if that is what makes people happy.  At the same time it is for such a great cause. According to the Kentucky Kernel, “The word “Movember” was coined, and according to the Movember website, global participation for the cause and more than a million donors raised $42 million for Movember’s global beneficiary partners in 2009.”  It’s an interesting month where guys can experiment and just grow out their beard, but I feel like society has made it “wrong” to have a big beard and be socially accepted.  Unless it’s someone of fame or wealth the average person cannot be viewed the same way. I find this to be morally unfair to the rest of the world.  Going in for a job is a lot about appearance, and whether or not your boss might have a beard, if you do not look “professional” then you already lower your chances at the position you are trying to get.  

 I feel that this is one of the main issues with people being self-conscious. People always are being judged or watched with how they are, and it creates for an unstable mindset of consistently feeling like we need to impress each other. No shave November is for a good cause, but if there were no cause there would be no excuse as to not shaving. People would be told they cannot do it and would not do it. This kind of month is good to help people recognize that they can look however they want and not feel like they are getting in trouble for it.

I think events like these are great for people and can really help society let people appear more freely than they already do.



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8 Comments on “No Shave November”

  1. godzillagti Says:

    I have also no shaved since the beginning of November and I think that No Shave November is a great experience for men to participate in. I personally have never been allowed to grow out any of my hair do to high school policy and my parents. This is the first time i have ever been able to grow out my beard and I don’t feel like I’m being strongly judged for it. It is comforting to be participating in something bigger than myself and its encouraging to see other men who appear to be participating as well. That being said there is obviously a bit of competition involved which can be harmful. For instance a student on my floor managed to grow basically what I have now in half of the time. It can be discouraging, but I never feel anymore insecure than I do on an average everyday basis.
    Since getting to college I’ve realized why my high school had the no long hair or facial hair policy. I have seen many males with hair longer than most women and who have beards down to their chest. This is just the complete opposite of the “professional” image that has been in our minds since we were young. Unless taken care of properly, long hair and beards looks very unprofessional. I don’t think anything is wrong with having a beard or long hair, so long as it is cared for properly to make it look more professional.

  2. marckarpinos31 Says:

    I think this was a really interesting concept. I had no idea that No Shave November had a true purpose behind it. The fact that it is an organized group of men demonstrating for something important to them to me is great. I personally have not participated in the demonstration because I had no idea that it was so meaningful and next year I will probably seriously consider it.

    With that being said at such a large institution such as Michigan I think this is the perfect place for those who may be self conscious to try something like no shave November. It is such a large school with such a diverse group of people coming together as one student body that I too believe most students would not be judged whether or not they have the ability to grow out respectable facial hair. I think you bring up good points in this post and agree that events like this will help people appear more freely.

  3. riommack Says:

    I’m not sure why but this year was the first time I’d even heard of Movember, but it seems like a great way of spreading awareness. Nonetheless, your blog led me to do some digging on the month long event. It’s website is very insightful. I was amazed to discover that since it started in Australia in 1999, 1.1 Million “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” have participated with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Ireland. I think its exponential growth is wonderful and will only get better each year.

    While I was blown away by how globally spread this campaign is, “Mo Sistas” caught my eye on the webpage. It’s not what i had initially thought. I read and learned that girls have even joined the campaign… not by growing out their hair, but by helping Mo Bros get sponsored for their hair-growing efforts to raise money for cancer, specifically prostate cancer. So while guys are “walking, talking billboards,” girls can still help in the cause!

    Having gone to a boarding school with rules on how each boy was shaven , I wonder what my headmaster would think of this. For a good cause, would he let the boys participate, and perhaps even help sponsor the mustache growing?

  4. Jake Weimar Says:

    I agree that the social benefit of no shave November is great. Like it was said it helps with body image, you grow out your beard and don’t care about it in the slightest. It is one of the few times of year where it is all right to have an unruly beard. The only problem with this form of philanthropy is that it does not really raise money or awareness for the cause. It may get a massive participation but it does not actually accomplish a goal towards the cause.

  5. dhp27 Says:

    I have an interesting view on this idea of no shave november. I feel personally that no shave november is for a phenomenal cause and is a great event. To spread awareness about prostate cancer is a wonderful thing and it is great to have a time where people do not care about appearances. However, I do feel that this idea can be viewed in a negative aspects. Appearnces mean a lot to people and considering the fact that no shave no november doesn’t actually raise awareness or charity for the cause then what is the point of the whole concept. As I said earlier, I think it is a really good idea for a really good cause, but there needs to be a real benefit in order to make the concept sucessful

  6. dkap7 Says:

    I have always been aware of no-shave november, however, I never was aware that it was done in an effort to promote the awareness of prostate cancer. I always thought the idea was funny and fun, but now knowing that there is actual meaning behind it that raises awareness for a disease that has struck so many men and is extremely hard for men to overcome I will now be partaking in this event every year.

    This post does bring about a very good point on appearance. Does one’s appearance really matter that much? The need to “look good” has become more and more important and a part of people’s lives throughout time. We started off as cavemen who had no utensils or sense of cleanliness or sanitation and have transformed into a world with mirrors everyone and makeup and other surgeries and procedures that can change the way an individual appears. In my opinion, modern culture has taken a person’s appearance to an overbearing point. People are beginning to only date other people based on their appearance and not based on the real qualities that make a person unique and special. When relating this to no shave november, it is essential to realize that men are doing this to raise awareness for prostate cancer, and a lot of these men would probably not go without shaving for a full month because it ruins their appearance. Appearance is beginning to become irrelevant because people are able to make themselves look any way they want with the advances in medicine, makeup and surgery. Why are people so concerned with their appearance? In an attempt at the pursuit of happiness, the appearance of an individual is irrelevant in achieving this goal, yet so many people are still so worried about how their appearance is portrayed by the people around them. I feel that one’s appearance is not as important as society has made it out to be in modern times.

  7. jrsmyth177 Says:

    I would love Movember even more if I could properly grow a beard. Maybe one day I will get there. Anyways, this event is still great as it unites a lot of people together. Today we are driven by appearance. A few weeks ago I read an article about a study that claimed better looking people get better jobs. I cannot remember the exact statistics, but the numbers did show that the study found that better looking people get better jobs because of the assumption that better looking people have better social skills. Moevember stops this. Movember allows us to step away from our appearence driven society. As you said, with Movember people are now becoming aware that guys are growing it out for a cause, and now some people have no problem with the look of the dirty beards. I think that this is great for society because people feel no need to worry what other people think of them. Nowadays that is all we worry about. For most people it feels good to step away from worrying about other people’s thoughts.

    I love the way Movember allows people to just forget about their appearances. Facial hair is seen as unprofessional, but I think if someone takes proper care of it then they should be allowed to keep it. Nobody wants to see a beard that goes down to someones chest, but I think a little well controlled beard is fine. People should not have to worry what another person is going to think about them.

    A great story came from the National Hockey League concerning Movember. Jonas Hiller, the goalie for the Anaheim Ducks, made a helmet with all of his teammates on it. The best part about it is that mustaches are drawn into each of his teammates face. Hiller’s objective for wearing the mask was to raise awareness for Movember. There is also a possibility that his mask will go on sale and all of the money will go to help fight Prostate Cancer. Nonetheless, Movember is a great month with a great cause.


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