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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    No Shave November

    Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Dan Casey, a pre-physiology and business major, is participating in No-Shave November at UA, Nov. 8, 2010.  Pinning down the origins of this tradition prove elusive.
    Tim Glass
    Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat Dan Casey, a pre-physiology and business major, is participating in No-Shave November at UA, Nov. 8, 2010. Pinning down the origins of this tradition prove elusive.

    Oh, autumn. The time of year when the leaves start changing, pumpkin spice candles are burning and an abundance of facial hair is growing. Wait … what was that last part?

    You heard right — November is here, and that means “”No Shave”” November is back once again. This trend has been gaining momentum over the years, especially with the help of social networking groups and blogs endorsing this trend. In fact, the Facebook group “”No Shave November”” has over 18,000 fans. So why have so many guys abandoned shaving for an entire month?

    The origin of No Shave November is debatable. Some say it’s just a testosterone competition between men, while others insist they have banded together in support of a greater cause, such as “”Beards for Breast Cancer.”” There is even an organization called Movember, a group that grows mustaches during the month of November in order to raise money for prostate cancer research. Since 2004, the organization has raised over $42 million dollars. There are even 14 definitions for “”No Shave November”” on Urban Dictionary. And last, but certainly not least is the Swedish indie-pop band, No Shave November.

    It seems as if there isn’t a particular rhyme or reason behind No Shave November, but rather it comes down to the individual. After seeing a number of Facebook status updates either strongly for or against No Shave November, it seemed necessary to hit campus and see what people thought about the trend on a local level. 

    Wildlife took to the UA Mall on Monday — the eighth official day of beard-growing — with a sign that read, “”Talk to Us About No Shave November. Love It? Hate It? We Want to Know!”” Passersby smiled, grimaced and made just about every facial expression in between.

    One of the first people to stop by was Dan Casey, a sophomore majoring in physiology and business. He and some of his friends have banded together and formed a friendly competition around No Shave November.

    “”I’m doing it with five of my friends, and we are going to see who has the longest and thickest beard at the end of the month,”” Casey said.

    This type of fraternal bonding seems to be a strong motivation for many participants. Norman Clark, a mechanical engineering and mathematics freshman, is growing out his scruff with six other guys.

    “”It started out as a contest with just one of my friends who doesn’t like growing his hair because it’s patchy, so I said, ‘No big deal. I’ll grow it out with you,'”” Clark said. Before he knew it, Clark had a whole group of guys eager to jump on the No Shave November bandwagon.

    The male bonding of No Shave November has extended beyond immediate circles of friends. In fact, Josh Compton, mathematics junior and Resident assistant at the Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall, said dozens of residents are growing out their facial hair. There’s even a bulletin about No Shave November in the hall.

    Compton says he lacks in the facial hair department, so he’s decided to participate in No Shave November by growing his hair downstairs. “”My girlfriend doesn’t like it too much, but it’s No Shave November nonetheless,”” Compton said. He said he thinks a lot of guys do it to fit in with other guys. Although he is taking an unconventional approach to NSN, Compton respects everyone who is capable of growing a full, lush beard.

    But do female significant others support their partners’ hairy endeavors? Katie Cunningham, a computer science junior said her boyfriend participated last year and she didn’t mind it at all. “”I like guys with beards. I’m all for it,”” Cunningham said.

    Women aren’t just relegated to the sidelines, though. No Shave November, which is traditionally considered a male-dominated practice, reportedly has a feminine side. There have been rumors that some women choose to abstain from shaving their legs for No Shave November, a convention that Megan Roxbury, a sophomore majoring in English, finds odd. “”Is that a new twist? It seems pretty raunchy,”” she said. “”If you’re going to do that, you should probably wear pants all month.””

    Beyond significant others and friends, there are also parents to consider. With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, mothers all over the country are going to open their doors to their darling sons who went away to college, returning as scruffy mountain men.

    When economics junior Kunal Mangal grew out his facial hair last year, his mother’s response was, “”What happened to your face?”” Before he was able to answer, she sent him upstairs to shave.

    This year he’s taking a smoother approach to November.

    “”It’s itchy and less glorious than it sounds,”” Mangal said. “”It gets to the point where it’s not even about length, it’s about intensity.””

    Mangal isn’t the only one abstaining from No Shave November. Dillon Eddie, an undeclared freshman, had never even heard of No Shave November, although he thinks it’s silly.

    “”I’m more of a clean-cut kind of guy,”” Eddie said, adding that he probably needed to shave his two-day stubble. Furthermore, Eddie said none of his friends were growing facial hair, or any hair for that matter, for No Shave November.

    There seems to be a consensus that No Shave November is a friendly, male-oriented pastime. However, most would like to see No Shave November take on a greater cause. “”If it’s for a good cause it’s OK, but if it’s only because guys want to prove they’re men, then it’s like, ‘OK, enough,'”” Roxbury said.

    Even if you aren’t partial to hairy faces, legs and the like, it seems as though participants on the UA campus are all embracing a Grizzly Adams look either to promote friendly competition amongst their peers or in hopes that the event will someday aspire to the betterment of society. So, goodbye smooth jawlines. We will see you in December.

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