No Shave November. Those three words can make men instantly become lazy when it comes to keeping their face well-groomed.
The reason, they’ll tell you, is to support a cause. However, some men have no clue what the cause is they’re supporting.
To some, the cause is just keeping their face warm through the winter months. For others, the cause is to see how long they can go without shaving before their significant other yells at them, sometimes going as far as “Decembeard” and “Manuary.”
In fact, No Shave November, or “Movember,” started in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancers, although another group claims to have invented the term and month in 1999. In 2003, the website www.Movember.com was formed, with only 30 people joining and no money raised.
A year later, 450 people joined the site and $40,000 was raised.
Now, in 2011, 854,288 participated in the month, with over $126.3 million raised, according to the website. The totals for 2012 aren’t in yet, but the organization is still growing yearly.
In addition, the month has raised awareness for various other groups as well, such as the Livestrong Foundation, while individuals sometimes try to raise awareness for groups that matter to them personally, such as the Wounded Warriors Foundation, which TimesNewspapers sales representative Seth Cocquit is supporting this month.
The month is comparable to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, but nowhere near the size of the month. A big reason for this is because of the appearance. Many people are taken aback when they see someone with a big mustache or beard, depending on which version of the month they follow, and don’t want to support a cause that makes it seem like a person doesn’t care about their physical upkeep.
“Big steps have been taken towards changing attitudes and habits relating to men’s health around the world, but there is still much to be done to catch up with the women’s health movement,” a statement on www.Movember.com reads. “Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfill its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health issues each year.”
Personally, I support raising awareness about prostate cancer and support the Prostate Cancer Foundation. While my family and I haven’t been affected personally by it, I have had several friends that have fallen victim to the cancer. Like supporters of Breast Cancer Awareness month, though, I find it better to take a proactive stance against trying to find ways to fight the cancer, and supporting those that have survived it.
So, during the month, don’t scoff or roll your eyes at men growing beards or mustaches. Instead, remember the cause the month was created for and be supportive.A