The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Shaving good-bye to a hairy month

That time of year where clean-shaven men are made fun of and 5 o’clock shadows are scoffed at has come to an end.

The air was cold in Novemeber, the layers were heavier and the beards were thicker.

It’s the only time of the year where any male who has gone through puberty tries to look as scraggily as possible. We say goodbye to No-Shave November as we welcome in December, but the memories of Movember will live on.

One Movember origin story includes a few guys from Australia beginning the tradition with 30 or so friends to raise awareness for men’s health and cancer. Since its start in 2003, their Movember campaign has reached 21 countries.

In the middle of what many students consider the busiest part of the semester, it couldn’t come at a better time.

“I just got finished studying like crazy for like six midterms I had within the past two weeks so I got a bit of a head start. Instead of always worrying what I looked like, I was studying,” senior Joe Callaghan said. “I like no-shave November because it gives me a chance to embrace my inner man, and its one less thing I’ve gotta do in the morning.”

Most students are unaware of the holiday’s origins and instead think of it as a lighthearted rebellious act.

“I didn’t even know that was the point of it, I just enjoyed comparing beards with my friends, but now I get it,” Callaghan said. ” I understand the meaning behind it and it’s a really great cause. Maybe my girlfriend will be more understanding now.”

Women are encouraged to participate too, though they seem less willing.

For the women to participate, all they’ve got to do is refrain from shaving their legs and underarms. It’s not much in thought, but mentioning it to a woman didn’t get the greatest response.

“I don’t think I could ever go that long without shaving my legs or even my underarms, I do support guys doing it though. It has a great cause,” sophomore Ann Depora said.

The website even has a few rules and a few things you can come to expect with not shaving. It states that during the first week consists of a lot of scratching and is the hardest week to get through, as the urge to shave will be unbearable.

After about two weeks in is when the beard begins to look fuller and not so ridiculous, except for the boys with barely a mustache, and the women of course. You may even look homely at Thanksgiving, “because Moms and grandmothers just won’t understand,” the website jokes. At the end of the month comes the victory lap, where you take celebratory pictures. And by the time Dec. 1 rolls around, it’s time for the razors to come out.

The word is now being spread across Twitter and Instagram for what the event really means. A quick search on either platform will reveal 14-year-olds with peach fuzz mustaches and men with beards big enough to get food caught in them.

The Facebook page currently has over 100,000 likes, which states “Movember, the month formerly known as November, is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health.”

In 2011, Google Chrome partnered with Movember to create a video. The video featured real participants, and how they used the Internet to raise awareness and funds for the cause. The video currently has over 1.3 million views.

In 2012, the Global Journal listed No-Shave November as one of the top 100 non-government organizations in the world.

Going further than just user-based platforms is the official site noshember.com. The site also features a list of popular charities associated with the month, the most popular being the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The NBC newscasters, along with much of the staff behind the camera have agreed to stop shaving for the month. One of them being Matt Lauer, who drove home the importance of men’s health and early detection of prostate cancer.

Awareness doesn’t have to stay in the month of November either.

Sometimes No-Shave November turns into don’t worry December, Just grow it January, Forget about it February, and of course, manly March.

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