No-Shave November: Why is it just for guys?

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With No-Shave November here, you are probably curious about the meaning behind these lumberjack or, in some special cases, Merlin-like beards. As a girl who practically has her dad’s hair genes and most likely has the full capability of growing a beard, a little jealousy is inevitable when your male counterparts have the full freedom to participate in this shave-less month, and beauty standards say you cannot.

According to the Daily Mississippian, the tradition actually goes back to Australia in 2004 where a group of men began this trend to raise awareness of depression in men and prostate and testicular cancers. In their first year, these men raised $40,000. Since then, there has been an exponential increase to outstanding $126.3 million in funds raised.

Before I researched the origin of No-Shave November, I was actually very much misled about what it was. Was this some childish joke? Some macho-hood initiation? Some boyish way to single out the girls? I’m glad to be corrected that the significance behind it is actually something meaningful. So as an avid supporter of breast cancer awareness, I totally support men in their beard-growing efforts and encourage women to support them in their facial hair endeavors and maybe establish some beard goals of their own. On the note of spreading awareness, my real question is: can I join in on the beard fun, too?

This is a man’s world, but it ain’t nothing without a woman. If women jumped on board, No-Shave November would certainly gain more attention. Although moustaches on females do not parallel the current beauty standards, financial support would skyrocket. Before razors, waxing strips or laser technology were around, women did sport moustaches. Maybe not to the same lavishness as our male counterparts ― women can only do so much with their little testosterone. But I am sure that women, even with their little facial hair, were beautiful then as well.

The responses I might get from the general audience regarding my question may range from a reassuring “yes” to a roaring “no.” Some guys might actually support a girl’s facial hair endeavors, maybe some girls, too. Other guys and girls might find it absolutely gross and unhygienic. My girlfriends would try consoling me by saying that we do have our discreet No-Shave November because by this time Floridians are layering themselves with Uggs and sweaters for this killer 70-degree weather. Trading in our shorts for a pair of sweatpants or leggings is also a must. For those who don’t know, long pants mean a skipped shave or two. Keeping up with our girly needs is demanding, painful and just plain exhausting. Imagine if we could not shave for a better cause.

I don’t think it should matter if a girl participates in No-Shave November. I’m sure she might get a few laughs or some interesting looks, but I think we can compromise the current beauty standards for a humble cause. The fact that a girl is growing her facial hair might attract more attention to the cause than a man doing so because of just how peculiar it is. Let’s not forget the heart of this month is for awareness and charity. Hence, anything that helps should be valid. Even if it means breaking a few facial beauty norms. I will not be sporting a moustache this November, but will my legs? Maybe.

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