Movember offers a chance at charitable growth

By Tappan Parker

November means many different things. The penultimate month is synonymous with Thanksgiving, mid-term papers and exams for students, daylight savings time and the first snow – that is, when snow doesn’t sneak up on us at the end of October. But who can forget that most timeless of all November traditions? That’s right, it is time once again for “No Shave November,” when men everywhere show off their beard-growing abilities for the duration of the month in a concerted effort to get grizzly.

The tradition of No Shave November, also known as Novembeard, is a simple one. Typically, participants are expected to shave on the first of the month before continuously growing their beard all month long. However, this is not necessarily a requirement. There is only one rule for participation in the time honored tradition: participants must not shave during the month of November.

No Shave November got its start in 2003 when a group of Australians, inspired by the women’s movement to raise awareness for breast cancer, decided that men should be able to find creative avenues for raising awareness for their own particular problems. Thus kicked off the annual, month-long event of No Shave November, when men (and particularly well whiskered women) everywhere are encouraged to stow away their razors and let their beards flourish.

Some men participate in No Shave November to keep their faces warm for the winter. Some do it because it’s stylish. For others – why not? But there are some men who do it for charity. Foundations like Movember offer facial hair enthusiasts the unique opportunity to compete for a cause, instead of just for the rugged look.

The Movember charity was created in Australia and New Zealand and has since spread across the globe. According to their website, Movember seeks to “raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.” Since its creation, Movember has garnered over a million participants with its charity alone and raised over $174 million in support of men’s health around the globe.

To differentiate itself from the regular No Shave November, Movember asks its participants to specifically grow the best moustache that they can by the end of the month. Participants sign up on the foundation’s website, with the option to either create a team, join another team or “mo on their own.”

Women need not feel left out, as there are also ways for “mo sistas,” as the website calls them, to help fundraise for other “mo bros” growing their moustaches and participants who raise the most cash are eligible for prizes within the Movember community.

For those who have been on the fence about participating in No Shave November, having either not shaved since the snowstorm due to the lack of running water or even having just gotten a late start, it is still not too late to start growing a moustache for a cause this year. Head on over to and get started raising money for the cause.

Tappan Parker can be reached at [email protected]