ANGLES: NOVEMBER: TO SHAVE OR NOT TO SHAVE?

No-Shave November: lets men be manly for a month

SAM WILLIAMS

sbwilliams13@ole.augie.edu

 swilliams

It’s finally time, fellow men.

It’s finally time for each one of us to throw off the yoke of our oppressors and proudly let our facial follicles flourish with unbridled abandon.

No longer will our respective senses of masculinity be reigned in by the iron fists of disapproving mothers and girlfriends. No longer will we allow our natural growth to be hamstrung by complaints that “it’s itchy, “it’s ugly” or “there’s literally bugs in it.”

No longer will our numerous nude visages sully the memories of our gloriously un-groomed ancestors. This is the time for us to seize the day, reject the status quo and boldly make known our status as free, untamable men!

That may have been slightly overwrought, but I stand by my point. No-Shave November represents a return to the way things were meant to be, and in my opinion, the more men being mistaken for lumberjacks or time-shifted Greek philosophers the better. The only problem is that, apparently, some people have the gall to disagree with me.

Now, obviously, there are some difficulties that come with respectable amounts of facial hair: getting a job, getting a girlfriend, fighting mange. However, these flaws are far outweighed by the advantages. Therefore, it seems worthwhile to point out some of the benefits of furry faces.

First off, the fashion opportunities made available to any man with an ample supply of fluff are virtually limitless, and No-Shave November erases the stigmas that sporting outrageous beard styles can carry during the rest of the year. So, while there are always the traditional options like the five o’clock shadow or the classic goatee, guys now have the option to really express their individuality any way they please.

They can leave it ruggedly unkempt to show off their testosterone levels, wax a delicate curl into a well-trimmed mustache to display a sense of class, or even rock a soul patch to let everyone know that they aren’t really the best at decision-making. No Shave November fosters a culture of acceptance for every man’s choice. I think that’s an important indication of its value, because sometimes a man wants to grow a mustache, but doesn’t think kids are sexy.

Second, the health benefits of beards are both numerous and, surprisingly, not things I just made up.

According to the Internet, beards help improve skin health by offering protection from the sun, wind and cold that dry out the faces of those silly clean-shaven folks (that must be why homeless people all look so good). They also help reduce asthma symptoms by catching allergens like pollen while also reducing infections that stem from shaving, such as ingrown hairs and razor rash. Not only do the bearded look rad for the time being, but they’re also keeping their mugs safe for future use.

Finally, if guys somehow need extra motivation to take the step from Walter White to full-on Heisenberg status, the official Movember charity encourages men to grow mustaches and ask for donations to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues, such as prostate and testicular cancers. You can go online to Movember’s official website to see what it’s all about, and by registering yourself and spreading the word, you can be a part of it.

You get to feel good, look good and help ensure a safe future for both your junk and the junk of men across the globe. So stock up on shampoo and keep a fire extinguisher handy, boys, because No-Shave November is here to stay.

Sam Williams is a freshman business and psychology major from Watertown, S.D.

 

Modern Movember ‘sadly detached’ from cause’s origin

ELLEN FERRY

esferry11@ole.augie.edu

eferry

As a single woman, I am well aware that, in taking a stance against No-Shave November, I draw dangerously close to losing what little favor I may hold in the eyes of the male population, and yet, I cannot keep silent. The month of scraggly, unkempt and otherwise obnoxiously bushy facial hair is upon us, and the verdict is out: No-Shave November needs to go—or, at a minimum, return to its roots.

I know that No-Shave November, also referred to as “Movember,” has its foundation in a good cause: men’s health. The goal of raising prostate cancer awareness is commonly cited by the men who choose to ditch their razors for the month, but it doesn’t take much to recognize that the activity has become sadly detached from its noble cause.

Snazzy and unconventional awareness campaigns have their place, and have certainly proved successful in the past (think NFL players sporting pink accessories on the field in honor of breast cancer awareness). The beauty of a movement like No-Shave November is that the universal ability of nearly every man to grow facial hair—patchy or otherwise—means that nearly every man can participate in the camaraderie.

But what began as a men’s health awareness campaign has become a sad excuse for men to neglect proper hygiene for a month, complete with “progress reports” shared via social media. Daily photos of beard growth (which typically lack any mention of men’s health awareness) rank alongside the social media no-nos of political rants and melodramatic monologues.

Furthermore, the No- Shave November movement has aggravated society’s condemnation of women who do not shave their bodies in compliance with widespread beauty standards. Men and women alike express disgust at the thought of a woman partaking in No-Shave November—just ask around.

This thinking only adds to the complex scenery of feminine self-image issues and body-shaming practices that plague our society. At a minimum, the designated “male only” activity of No-Shave November has created a divide between genders. Does segregating women from the cause not disserve the greater mission of raising awareness for men’s health issues?

I get that having a beard is masculine, and I don’t want to deny men the right to sport their scruff. I could argue that facial hair is gross, and that women are fed up with hairy kisses, but the issue here runs deeper than aesthetic preference.

Lumberjack jokes aside, the legitimacy of No-Shave November needs some serious examination.

Ellen Ferry is a junior business communications and psychology major from Underwood, Minn.