Henry: No-shave November: Supporting men’s health one scruffy jawline at a time

Posted on November 14, 2011 in Henry's Head, Perspectives
By Andrew Henry

USM Free Press | The Free Press

 

No-shave November. Mo’Vember. Novembeard. Whatever you call it, the month of no shaving is upon us and in full swing. Noshember is somewhat of a rite of passage as a college student, and one that has more than just the goal of growing totally rad facial hair. Disclaimer: I’m doing No-shave goatee November because I’m a tour guide at USM and can’t be looking like a homeless Ashton Kutcher while I’m discussing the university at length.

No-shave November started originally as a way of raising awareness for men’s health, prostate health in particular, although many use the cause to raise awareness for other cancers and health issues as well, which is awesome. No-shave November doesn’t turn anyone away. An estimated 240,000 men per year are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and it’s the second most common form of cancer among men, so it’s no surprise that someone took the initiative to raise awareness about it. The origins of the no-shaving tradition are relatively unknown, but that hasn’t stopped the trend from spreading like wildfire across the entire country. Thousands of people each year participate in the one great excuse to grow a villain’s mustache each year, and the number or participants grows with each passing November.

As a member of the no-shave collective since I outgrew peach fuzz, I can tell you first hand that participation in this epic event is awesome. If you need more reasons to join awareness for men’s health—though you shouldn’t—                                                                                                                                                   I have plenty.

One of the biggest reasons No-shave November is a hit is because the weather during this month,particularly in New England really starts to get chilly. So what better excuse to grow a burly beard of brotherhood than for sheer warmth? Keep that chiseled jaw nice and toasty with some deluxe scruff. The beard is nature’s jaw-muffs.

Another big reason to participate is the manliness. Letting yourself go for an entire month without shaving is manly. Lazy, but manly. It shows that you have no fear. You’re not afraid of what people will think about your facial hair, no matter how scraggly and patchy. Guys, you know who digs confidence? Women. Don’t confuse this with cockiness, please, because women really don’t like that. When a man grows a beard, or any sort of facial hair, a special tantalizing pheromone is secreted that smells like cherries, desire and manliness.

The biggest reason to participate is to show care for people you know who have been affected by cancer. I participate for my father. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the tender age of 44 in August 2007. He underwent surgery to remove the tumors on Halloween of that same year, the day before November starts. I decided right there and then in the hospital that I would participate in No-shave November every year from there on in. Seven years is the waiting period for a prostate cancer patient to be fully cleared of the cancer. It’s year four and there’s been no sign of a recurrence. Chance? I think not. I’m not the most religious person on earth by a longshot, but methinks the bearded-man upstairs himself had a hand in the matter.

Whether it’s for a friend, a friend-of-a-friend, a parent or anyone you know who has been touched by cancer, or if you just want to sport some gnarly scruff, No-shave November is one monthly-tradition that has no downsides. Except for pissing off your girlfriend because your goatee scratches them on the face. My bad, honey.