Growing Awareness: No-Shave November is more than just a fun event.


Last November, I hoped to participate in No-Shave November but alas, I was wholly unable to grow any facial hair of substance. This year, though, with the compliance of my hair follicles, I will grow a beard and contribute to this amusing practice which is not only fun but has an important underlying purpose. However, in recent years, No-Shave November has grown to become a punchline of jokes rather than a fight against cancer. This neglect of the true purpose is disconcerting novembergraphic4because if people would recognize and participate, then No-Shave November could morph from an oft-forgotten cause to a widely celebrated rallying cry for combating cancer.novembergraphic3 

The concept of No-Shave November is simple yet still has a powerful guiding idea.  People neglect to shave their hair for a month and then donate the money they would have spent on grooming to cancer research. Furthermore, it serves as a sign of respect for the cancer-stricken individuals who are unable to grow hair due to chemotherapy. The resulting facial hair can often be humorous, especially among high school students, thus people can quickly forget the true reason behind No-Shave November. As a result, it can sometimes be viewed as a joke rather than an honorable fight against cancer.

Furthermore, this is in sharp contrast to other cancer awareness months such as October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In October, people wear pink with pride. Why then can’t people grow mustaches and beards with pride in November? Refusing to acknowledge No-Shave November as people recognize pink in October is hypocritical and should come to an end. No-Shave November needs to be taken more seriously and recognized as a fight against cancer.

It’s time to realize that No-Shave November is important. No longer can it continue to be brushed off as just a humorous practice of refusing to shave. No-Shave November is not only fun, but sends a powerful message and contributes to the fight against cancer and thus should be celebrated accordingly.

 The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Misha Rekhter at [email protected]novembergraphic2