Moving Into Movember

It’s THAT time of year!


Photograph by D Gallup

Beardless Movember Challengers at the start of the month

Around this time of year you might notice that it gets just a little bit colder, the taste of turkey is just around the corner, and there’s a significant number of male students walking around who you’re pretty surprised haven’t been caught by Mr. Oronoz. Yes, it’s November! Or, if you’re one of the participants in this month long event raising awareness for prostate cancer, it’s Movember.

The practice started in Australia in 2003, as a complement to the pink ribbons worn for women. The basic concept was that men could grow and sport a mustache throughout the month, thus came the “M” of replacing the “N” of November. But it’s now become more about a beard. That is, men start the month clean shaven and then don’t shave the whole month. Their Viking-like beards serve as a billboard to advertise the importance of awareness about prostate and testicular cancer. Since then 2003 it’s garnered global attention and specifically national attention in the United States with many celebrities donating their faces for the cause. Everyone from Tom Hanks to Justin Bieber has participated, raising national awareness to this important cause.

This innovative idea first found its way to our school three years ago, when a couple students who wanted to flaunt their beard growing abilities saw this as a perfect medium to do so. Today, Saavan Kamlani leads this charge. When I asked him why he cared about this cause and this method of raising awareness specifically he said, “Movember does a lot for men’s health, from research to helping men with different cancers but most specifically prostate cancer.” He adds that as someone who can “grow a crazy beard” and wishes he could “keep it all year round” he like his fellow peers knows he will “get to have fun and yet raise awareness and money for a great cause that can maybe help them or someone they know.”

Though it’s always fun to see who can grow the best beard, anyone (women or hairless men included can participate as well) can donate to this great cause even if they don’t have the beard to show it. All the proceeds go to the Movember Foundation which donates to Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Just this year, our club has raised $1,100 dollars for these charities.

In this coming month when you see a peer or even a teacher sporting a particularly impressive beard feel free to pay them a compliment especially now that you know the great rationale behind those glorious beards.