No Shave November: The Ongoing Journey of Raising Cancer Awareness

Audrey Bucak and Joy Hyun

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At the end of No Shave November season last month at Haverford, our participants had the facial hair to show for it.  

Many people use the terms “No Shave November” and “Movember” interchangeably, but they are actually two different organizations.  The Movember Foundation has stricter guidelines where participants have to grow a prominent mustache, with the goal of sparking intrigue and questions, while No Shave November, sponsored by Best Buddies, requires participants to start off with a cleanly shaven face at the beginning of the month and put away their grooming tools for the next four weeks.  However, both organizations have the same common goal – to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer.

Mr. Tim Foster, a member of the Science Department, did not participate in No Shave November at Haverford, but he was one of the many participants of Movember across the country.  Foster said, “I actually do Movember, where I grow a mustache for the month to raise awareness for men’s health, men’s suicide prevention, and prostate and testicular cancers.  I started doing Movember 15 years ago when my father-in-law contracted and beat prostate cancer.”  

Growing a lush mustache isn’t always easy though.  “I can tell you the most difficult part of growing a stache is all the looks you get.  Plus, my children and wife don’t like it, but they know it’s for a good cause,” Foster added.

Men aren’t the only people participating.  Many women have decided to not shave in November to support the cause too.  Freshman Grace McAlexander said, “I participated to raise awareness but also to show that women don’t have to shave and that natural body hair on women is a normal thing.  Raising awareness for prostate cancer is important to me because it can very easily be caught early and raising awareness of that fact can save lives.”

“Personally, it’s been pretty easy for me to stop shaving.  I’d say the hardest part was wearing a leotard to ballet class and showing off my hairy armpits.  I realize that that’s dumb because no one was looking at my armpits and it’s totally fine to have hair.  It grows on everyone and it shouldn’t matter if I shave it or not,” she added.

November isn’t the only time to grow some facial hair, though.  As Mr. Foster reminds us, “The Movember foundation runs all year and accepts donations all year.  We should always keep in mind all problems men are facing.  As to raising awareness past this November, well, we will just have to keep growing beards and mustaches!”


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