The real meaning of No Shave November

The month of November is a trying month for most college students as they run the final lap of the semester in preparation for finals and are eager for their much-needed monthlong Christmas break.

However, November is also important for another reason: No Shave November. The tradition goes that guys grow out lumberjack-like beards throughout the month. Although no one reason or explanation exists for this tradition, most guys will tell you it’s nice to have an excuse to not shave for a month.

I have participated in this tradition throughout my undergraduate career, and it was always a joyful time of the semester when I didn’t have to worry about busting out the razor every few days.

In fact, I even think I was able to apply the extra time I saved by not shaving to homework. This was my annual tradition for four years until last year, when I became aware of a way to put my whiskers to good use other than looking like a lumberjack, and the event was called Movember.

Movember is derived from No Shave November. The difference is this: Instead of not shaving your entire face for the entirety of the month, you shave everything but the moustache.

A few young men in Melbourne, Australia, coined the term in 1999. Then, in 2004, the Movember Foundation was founded; it’s a way for men to grow out their moustaches throughout November — and raise money for men’s health awareness at the same time.

That first year, the fundraiser raised $40,000. Since then, the movement has grown exponentially internationally. The growth the foundation has experienced was evident last year when 854,288 men in more than 15 countries registered to grow moustaches in honor of Movember. Last year, those men and their moustaches were able to raise $126.3 million, which was distributed to varying organizations who support men’s health, like the LIVESTRONG Foundation.

Unfortunately, it seems like not many people, at least in this area, are aware of Movember — and it’s a shame.

Just take a look at the month of October, most widely known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The fundraising that goes toward it is exceptional and truly an amazing outreach.

I’d really like to see a more universal movement like the one for breast cancer awareness applied to Movember and men’s health awareness. I know the stereotype for men is that we don’t need help, but we really do, and this is a great way to do it.

So, what I’m asking is that all you college guys out there who are getting excited for the calendar to turn over to November so you don’t have to shave for a month to consider growing a moustache instead.

Now, I know it may not be the most flattering form of facial hair out there, but it is only for a month, and it’s for a good cause.

As for the rest of you folks, consider donating money to a worthy cause. I mean, I know how much ladies love a guy with a little scruff; how about showing some love for a guy sporting a nicely groomed moustache?

I’ll be the first to admit that I look decently awkward with a moustache, but I figure I have the entirety of the other 11 months of the year to look good again, whether that is clean-shaven or with a beard.

For the second year in a row, I have decided to put my whiskers to use this year and help make a change for men’s health. For those of you interested in reading up on the event and possibly interested in making a donation in honor of my moustache or any other gent’s, visit to learn more.

On an exciting little side note, I am taking suggestions on different ways to style my moustache throughout the month. All you have to do to make a donation or a suggestion is visit the website above and search for my name. This will take you to my “Mo Space.” From here, you can see pictures of my moustache, make any comments you would like and donate if you so choose to.

Happy Movember!

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