It’s finally November. This means scarves and sweaters for everyone, an excuse to drink apple cider every day and a signal that there’s only six weeks until Christmas break.
But the start of this chilly autumn month also hails the beginning of a time-honored tradition: No Shave November.
Since beards become such a hot commodity on NW’s campus, perhaps a little history behind the hair is needed as people try to grow some bristles.
Let’s back up all the way to the 14th century. In the midst of castles, lords and ladies, the Renaissance period was just beginning to dawn. Back then, the English year was comprised of 15 months instead of today’s 12.
During the month of November, men would cease from shaving in order to ward off evil spirits, invading foreigners and the plague.
Of course, men were still forced to shave the remaining 14 months so that in the event of saving a fair maiden she would accept his hand in marriage on the basis of him being ‘kissably soft.’
While many of these fabricated histories circulate throughout the men of the world, No Shave November has a more serious beginning.
It actually began in Australia when a group of young men in 1999 founded the month known as Movember, taking the first two letters from the Australian-English word “moustache” and blending it with November.
This 30-day period of mustache growing was used to raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, depression and their respective charities.
The “Movember Committee,” originally a group of 80 men, led to the creation of the Movember Foundation Charity in 2004. Since its inception, the charity has raised more than $174 million worldwide. In 2012, a record $1.1 million people participated raising $95 million.
The Movember phenomena has led to events like The Moscars, created in 2010, which is a worldwide online video contest in which participants can upload their song, story or play in support of Movember.
The International Man of Movember is also a popular event where one man is chosen from 21 national winners from around the world to be crowned the face of Movember for the upcoming year. Last year, Tom Rickard of Sweden won the illustrious title.
Ladies, don’t worry. You can participate, too.
Let the leg hair be that extra layer of insulation during the ever decreasing temperatures.
From Forgot to Shave February to Don’t Shave December, months dedicated to hair growing are cropping up.
While it’s nice to unleash the inner lumberjack once and a while, remember what No Shave November is all about: growing beards to grow awareness.
So, if you’ve got it in you, let your razors rust and donate. Who knows, you might just get a fair maiden out of the deal as well.