Written By: Josh Speer
No-Shave-November is that time of the year where millions of men and women around the globe put down the razor for a month. Many people may believe it is just another trend, but the truth is that it is far more complicated. Like the similar Movember movement, they both have their roots in raising awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and mental health.
The Movember Foundation was founded in 2003, growing from just thirty “Mo Bros” to more than five million men and women who participate in this annually. Their goal is to address some of the biggest health issues faced by men, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. They take pride in the fact that they’re completely independent from government funding, so they can “challenge the status quo and invest quicker in what works”. In just thirteen years, they have contributed more than $710 million to around 1,200 men’s health projects in dozens of countries around the globe. Their goal is to decrease the number of men dying prematurely by up to twenty-five percent by the year 2030.
They are encouraging men to grow out their mustache (Mo) and also provide other means of getting involved. Considering the majority of women (and some men) couldn’t grow a mustache if they tried, they encourage involvement through the Move for Movember campaign by challenging yourself to exercise more often, if you already don’t. There are also various ways to donate to the cause. For more information about how you can get involved, visit their website.
The goals of the No-Shave-November campaign is similar to that of Movember. It was founded by the Hill family in Chicago as a way to honor Matthew Hill, who died in 2007 from colon cancer. The basic concept of raising cancer awareness is the same, but the approach is slightly different. The theme is to embrace your hair–either on the face or body–due to the fact that many cancer patients lose theirs as a result of treatment. They encourage that you donate the money this month that you would normally spend on razors and grooming to “educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle”.
Those who wish not to participate by physically not shaving are still encouraged to donate to and spread the word about the cause. According to their website, they partner with The American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Prevent Cancer Foundation, and Fight Colorectal Cancer, and have raised more than $1 million by nearly 30,000 people this year alone.
Both the Movember and No-Shave-November charities are nonprofit organizations. Each of them have raised millions of dollars to put towards funding for research into men’s health issues. It should go without saying that there is far more to this than just a trend.