Editorial: Embrace the hairiness of November


courtesy of istock


Editorial Board

November comes with pumpkin spice lattes, basted turkey, apple cider, football, colorful leaves, bare branches, light jackets and, of course, hairy people.

You know what we mean. The long beards, the hairy legs, the reluctantly-thick caterpillar resting beneath your nose. It’s all fun and games, but it all has a higher meaning.

No-Shave November, or if you prefer Noshember, is a movement in which people raise awareness about cancer or men’s health by embracing their hair, which many patients lose during the course of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The money normally spent on shaving or grooming products is instead donated to educate about cancer and its victims and how to fight the disease. Essentially, growing hair equals growing money and awareness.

It’s also very convenient timing, as November is an extremely busy month with classes, prepping for the holiday season and midterm slumps. Who has time to shave, anyway? Plus, it’s cold, so jeans can cover up your hairy legs.

Different organizations associate No-Shave November with different causes. Some say the month is dedicated to raising awareness and money for cancer in general, and some say the hairy days are to raise cash and awareness for men’s health.

Either way, November should be used for more than an appetizer to Christmas. And while you can grow a beard or your legwarmers for fun or as a joke among friends, donating through an organization can be a beneficial way to raise money and awareness.

The No-Shave November organization, which became official in 2009, focuses on overall cancer research. The Movember Foundation was founded in 2003 and, 4 million mustaches later, has since raised $600 million to go toward research in men’s health, especially in the areas of prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and physical activity. Movember has funded more than 800 programs in 21 countries.

In the United States, there have been at least 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer in 2015, according to the American Cancer Society, and about 27,540 deaths from prostate cancer, which is the most common type of cancer found in American men.

Cancer.org estimates that, in 2015, there have been about 8,430 new cases of testicular cancer, 380 of which have resulted in death.

If people donate through no-shave.org, their money goes toward cancer research and providing free information and services to cancer patients and their caregiving, according to no-shave.org. Donating through Movember will donate to more men’s health-specific causes.

So show up to class looking like a lumberjack. Roll into work with a stellar ‘stashe.

It’s all for a good cause.