In recent years, No Shave November or Movember has become a national phenomenon. As tradition goes, men vow to discard their razors, fight the urge and itch to shave and grow out their facial hair for the entire month.
Though many men have taken part in this phenomenon, rarely do they know the history or significance behind the beards of glory.
Movember began in 2003 when two men from Melbourne, Australia, decided the mustache should make a comeback. They formed a group of individuals who, for 30 days, vowed not to shave their mustaches.
The movement took off the next year when the group raised $40,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia with only 450 participants.
According to the official website of Movember, us.movember.com, more than 854,000 people registered as participants and raised $126.3 million.
Now, almost a decade after the first No Shave November, it has grown to not only include mustaches, but also beards. The movement has sparked conversations about facial hair and men’s health.
Men on Murray State’s campus are no exception. Looking around campus this month, beards were not scarce. But why do men participate in No Shave November?
Tyler Webb, freshman from Springville, Ind., said this year was his first No Shave November.
“It’s the first time I could participate because (I play) sports, so I thought it would be cool to see how long I could grow a beard,” Webb said. “No Shave November was a good excuse.”
Most men, however, participate for the sheer purpose of friendly competition.
“My roommate and I participated in No Shave November,” said John Smothers, freshman from Hickman, Ky. “We wanted to see who would cave first and shave it all off.”
Another way men compete is by seeing who can grow the longest beard.
“My buddies all participate to see who is the alpha male and can accumulate the most facial scruff.” said Jacob Whitehall, freshman from Lebanon Junction, Ky.
While competing with friends can be fun, there are some negative aspects of not shaving for an entire month.
“It was difficult not to shave my neck,” Webb said. “It drove me nuts. But my friends were surprised at how long my beard got and thought it was really cool.”
Overall, the men of Murray showed their best beards this month, but are ready to get rid of the unruly hair on Saturday.
“Come December first, this is all getting chopped off,” Smothers said. “No Shave November isn’t that cool because it’s itchy and causes ingrown hairs.”
The beards and ‘staches are a reminder of No Shave November, but the aim of the tradition is to have an impact on the face of men’s health, no pun intended.
Most women, however, have a different take on the beards than the men who sport them.
“My boyfriend participated in No Shave November,” said Shannon Smith, freshman from Hopewell, N.J. “He looks like a ridiculous lumberjack.”
Although some women despise the excessive amounts of facial hair during the month, some women actually get involved.
Those women who support the cause are known to some as ‘Mo Sistas.’ They often only encourage men to speak up about men’s health problems to support the cause. Though it is more rare, some go as far as to not shave their legs all month, similar to that of a man’s facial hair.
No matter whether it is the face or legs as the canvas for the art known as No Shave November, most agree by the end of the month, they are ready to lather in shaving cream and break out a brand new razor.
Story by Hunter Harrell, Staff writer