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Lay down your razors this month to raise awareness for male cancers

Posted on November 14, 2012 | by Helen Holmes

It’s the time where razor sales decline and women stop kissing their boyfriends. This month recommences No-Shave November, the annual, unofficial event during which participants of both genders refrain from removing excess hair from their bodies.

Although No-Shave November may seem like a meaningless albeit fun way to combat pre-finals anxiety, the act of growing out facial hair can be associated with a deeper meaning. In 1999, a group of men in Adelaide, Australia had the idea to grow mustaches during  November as a way to raise awareness for prostate cancer and other male cancer causes. Thus, Mustache November or Movember was born.

For the average post-pubescent male, the philanthropic benefits of abstaining from shaving seem to pale in comparison to the aesthetic appeal of facial hair.

“My beard is about to be straight-up luscious,” said LSP freshman and No-Shave November participant Ross Perkel.

But No-Shave November’s implications are not lost to Perkel.

“Contrary to popular belief, [I don’t think] most guys like using November as an excuse to look like a dirty hippie,” Perkel said. “I think that important male illnesses are often overlooked by the mainstream media, and as a result, programs funding testicular cancer and prostate cancer are desperately in need of more awareness from the general public.”

While some men grow out their facial hair to raise awareness, many NYU men use the month as an excuse to grow beards and mustaches.

“Honestly, I don’t shave because I’m lazy, and I like to stroke my beard while I reminisce about the good old days,” said LSP sophomore Gregory Hyver.

CAS freshman Lara Casselman thinks more women should participate in the unofficial holiday.

“It’s amazing watching the city being taken over by chic, furry-faced men, but No-Shave November should be a holiday for everyone,” Casselman said. “Ladies should be able to take part, too.”

In fact, November is an ideal month for women to stop shaving their legs because people will not notice overgrown hair under jeans and cozy knit leggings.

While No-Shave November could be construed as an excuse to be lazy, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it offers individuals the opportunity to raise spirits and even raise cancer awareness if volunteering in other ways is not possible.

Get hairy and get happy, ladies and gentlemen.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Nov. 14 print edition. Helen Holmes is a staff writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com. 

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Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

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