To fight cancer, let it grow
No-shave November is as self-explanatory as social movements get. It’s become a big thing in pop culture today, yet many people don’t know the reasons behind it. Instead of being just a trendy time of the year for men to grow their facial hair, the meaning is more fulfilling.
In fall 2009, friends Rebecca Hill and Bret Ringdahl wondered how anyone regardless of socio-economic status or age or gender, could contribute to raising money to fight cancer. (Hill’s father died of cancer in 2007.) So for one month, instead of going to the barber, or buying razors, they hoped people could donate the money they’d usually spend on grooming to help fight cancer. The organizers sum up their goal this way: “to grow awareness by embracing the hair that many cancer patients lose.” Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
How do City College students feel about it? Greg Fernandez, senior, says, “I love No-shave November because it sheds a spotlight on something the majority of men can’t control – their facial hair.” Fernandez goes on, “It’s to showcase the natural look of men, aside from what society makes us think the norm is, especially when you look at male models who are pretty much hairless.”
“I just think it’s fun,” adds senior Onaka Fiedtkou. “It’s a month where you get to care about shaving, which is cool because some people don’t like shaving.”
She continues, “ Now that I know what it’s for, it makes me like it even more and I wish more people did it.”
Barbershops, however, don’t seem to have been affected by No-Shave November. According to Guillermo, a barber at Osvaldo’s in the Bronx, “The cause is noble for sure, the reasons are great, but society makes us too vain, too self-conscious about our appearance to keep looking crazy all the time. There’s always someone in need of a nice cut.”
For more information about the history of No-Shave November, and how you can donate and participate in the end of the month beard contests, click here. On Twitter and instagram, organizers use the hashtag #letitgrow.