Movember Awareness Month

BY: RIVA LU

Cuts, burns and irritated skin are all prices to pay to have flawless and well-maintained skin.

The month of November is dedicated to spreading awareness to something we often take for granted and most cancer patients lose– hair. By embracing our hair and letting it grow, we can save time and money from grooming costs.

The Movember Foundation was founded in 2004 in Australia to raise money for men’s health awareness. By 2007, events were launched around the world to support the foundation. According to Time magazine, Movember has raised over $11 million since it’s started.

Third year English major Elias Schrank said this past month was his first year participating in No-Shave November.

“I did it as an excuse to be low maintenance and to see how I’d look rocking a fuller beard,” he said. “Me and a few of my friends are doing it to see how crazy we would look at the end of the month.”

Schrank admits that coming into this he was unaware of what the movement was all about until the middle of the month when a classmate informed him about the cause.

“There is a lack of awareness about men’s health issues,” he said. “That wasn’t wasn’t my intent going into it, but still it is an important and underrepresented issue.”

Although it is popular belief that only men show support by growing out their beards, women also participate in this cause.

Fourth year engineering major Maria Villicana said she participated by not shaving her legs for the entire month.

“I had an uncle who had cancer and I am showing my support to men by doing this,” she said. “I also participated because shaving itches and it’s cold. I don’t want to deal with it because it is inconvenient, but doing this benefits both myself and the cause.”

Third year information systems major Fritzie Campo said she also didn’t shave her legs this month to support the cause.

Coming into this month, Campo participated because she tends to cut herself often while shaving and hates dealing with itchiness. However, by the end of the month her reasoning for why she joined the cause changed.

“It makes me feel empowered [to not shave my legs] because it makes me accept [myself] for who I am as a human being,” she said.

Villicana says women participating in this cause will not only show their support to men but will promote women to be more confident with their hair.

Schrank said  dialogue is crucial. No matter how many hashtags a person may put on a photo, it won’t mean anything if people are uninformed on what No-Shave November truly represents.

Schrank plans on donating a portion of the money from his monthly shave budget to a cancer research non-profit in order to honor loved ones he has lost to the disease.

Campo said to spread awareness, this movement should be placed on fliers and be on the news, just as how Breast Cancer Awareness month is publicized.

Donations for this movement can be made at the No-Shave November website , which is in partnership with the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.