A teenage boy is sitting at his desk. He is in the midst of taking an important test, and as he attempts to concentrate, he begins to feel it. It starts small, hardly noticeable. The feeling begins to grow, but as time passes, the constant annoyance chips away at his patience until he can’t take it any longer; the incessant itching produced by his beard must be stopped. He scratches his luscious neck mane, providing momentary relief. But this is only a temporary fix. The itching will return.
This scenario may seem very familiar to any male who participated in No Shave November or “Movember.” By swearing off shaving for one month, men and women helped raise awareness for men’s health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.
Since 2010, the Movember Foundation, dedicated to taking action against the issues of men’s health, has raised approximately $30,400,000 for prostate cancer research alone. The foundation has grown to nearly five million members since its start in 2003.
Junior Joe Faullin participated in No Shave November this year and was able to follow through until the end of the month.
“I felt like I was a lot older than I really am and it heightened my sense of maturity,” Faullin said.
Along with the feeling of being older, facial hair has many other positive side effects. According to the Huffington Post, beards can “protect your face from the sun’s damaging rays,” “ward off throat disease,” and “reduce the chances of bacterial infection.” Not shaving can also “clear up your schedule for more important things.”
Dr. Herbert Mescon, a professor at the Boston University School of Medicine in 1972, found that the average man spends nearly 139 days, almost five months, shaving during his lifetime.
While the majority of No Shave November participants are men, there are many women who choose to give up shaving as well. Women spend nearly 72 days over the span of a lifetime shaving their legs alone, according to an article by the Huffington post.
Junior Sydney Smith did not participate in “Movember,” but she is supportive of women who choose to do so.
“It’s their choice, more power to them,” Smith said.
While there are innumerable benefits to putting down the razor for the month of November, there are some drawbacks. A typical downside involves an uncomfortable itching sensation.
“It was really, really itchy and patchy and I looked quite disgusting,” Faullin said.
Smith also believes the practice poses some problems.
“I think it makes men look like hobos,” Smith said.
While there are pros and cons to not shaving, there is a large population neutral towards the subject and may not shave regardless of the month.
“It was coincidental that I had a beard during No Shave November,” Latin teacher John Matheson said. “I did not plan to do it. I just didn’t shave.”
Junior Ryan Baker shares similar sentiments.
“I was lazy and didn’t feel like shaving. It was not intentional,” Baker said. “I think it’s funny and I appreciate the effort some people put in for it.”
Whether you’re an avid beard-grower or find the act distasteful, most can agree what it stands for is admirable.
“I think (Movember is) a good idea for raising awareness,” Matheson said.
Faullin has similar beliefs, saying “it does a lot for raising awareness for prostate cancer and it’s harmless fun, so why not?”
Faullin sums up his thoughts with the advice, “Never (stop) stop shaving.”