Journalism Class

The Importance of November

Written by Charlie Gallop

As November advances, people may notice an abundance of facial hair, particularly mustaches, grown by supporters of men’s health awareness.  Many St. Lawrence students hide their razors in an effort to support the cause.  Even though September is officially recognized as prostate cancer awareness month, many still choose to participate in raising awareness and money for men’s health in November.

“No-Shave November has been around a very long time, base-on internet findings no one is sure of the exact origin,” said Nicholas Hill of  A similar organization called Movember Foundation is recognized by many as the first of its kind.  “However, in 2009, Rebecca Hill and her friend conjured up a unique way to raise cancer awareness,” said Nicholas Hill emphasizing that the organization is primarily focused on raising cancer awareness.

“It started in 2003 in Australia when a group of friends were discussing 80’s fashion and realized that the moustache never came back,” said Tom Whiteside of Movember Foundation, noting that the origin of Movember was over a decade ago contradicting Hill’s claim.  “Bosses and wives treated them differently because of the moustache so they made it for a cause,” said Whiteside.  The origin of this tradition was routed in fashion but mustache accountability led it to have meaning.

“The Movember Foundation focuses on raising awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity,” said Walter of the Movember Foundation.  The two major organizations are proud to distinguish their goals from one another.  “We want to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives through investing in four key area’s,” said Whiteside.

“The target group is typically males ages 35-45, but we have seen younger and even older gentlemen participating,” said Nicholas Hill, even though a college campus may provide younger participants.  “We encourage women to skip a hair or waxing appointment and donate those funds to the cause,” said Hill about how women can become involved in the cause.  “For both men and women, we want people to embrace their hair during November as most cancer patients lose theirs during chemo or radiation treatments,” said Hill emphasizing the importance of participation by men and women.

“The mustache leads to discussion,” said Tom Whiteside regarding the men who are bold enough to grow out a mustache.  They are a “walking billboard” said Tom, when considering the ways Movember Foundation promotes themselves.  The advertising for Movember Foundation doesn’t involve any cost.

“Women are some of our biggest supporters,” said Whiteside when asked how women could be involved.  Though it might not appeal for a given woman to grow a mustache, they often are the biggest advocates for getting men talking about men’s health.  One of Movember’s objectives is for “women to get men in their lives active,” according to Whiteside, citing that many will become less active when diagnosed.

About the author

Charlie Gallop