Volume 16, Number 10
December 1, 2009

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This Week

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oksanWeirdly Beardly

As November drew to a close and December began, women across Northern America breathed a sigh of relief.

In November it began to get really cold outside. As women headed to the stores to stock up on scarves, coats, and boots for the winter, men… Well, men grew beards.

Ah yes, November. Also known as No-Shave November, it is a well-loved celebration of masculinity in which men unite and grow Novembeards in protest of Gillette, “The Man,” and their nagging women. During this month, males revel in their scruff. They grow bestial, brutal, but fellas beware! I have also heard No-Shave November referred to as No-Sex November by women who are not so fond of the lumberjack look. (Unfortunately for these ladies who love their guys clean-shaven, some chaps also participate in Freehair February, Moustache March, and Soul-Patch September.)

I'm not making this month-long hairy holiday up. In the beginning days of November I was invited to join a Facebook group which stated: “Once a year, we gather to celebrate a man's most prized possession - his beard… The month of November is a time to throw away your razors, unplug the clippers, and set your shaving cream on fire. Emancipate your skin from the blades of slavery.”

The group had several hundred members! There were various other groups, from the one which said, “[This is] the event to separate all the men from the boys” to the one which listed off such famous bearded men as Chuck Norris, Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln, and yes, Jesus. You could even follow Novembeard on Twitter!

I have several friends who partook in the merriment. Several days ago a friend of mine on the UC Davis baseball team complained, “My facial hair is weighing me down.” His family took the Novembeard to the next level and did a beard-growing competition.

Aside from the “Me Tarzan, you Jane” statement, men also partake in No-Shave November just for the post-beard festivities. As we speak, gents are gathering together to have shaving parties where they are trying out fun facial hair styles such as “The Mutton Chops,” “The Anchor,” and “The Balbo.” Most important of all, though, is the fact that more often than not these Novembeards were grown for charity!

In fall 2007, about 2,000 men participated in Movember, in which they grew moustaches and raised money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. There have been similar events at UC Davis in which friends have been sponsored to grow beards for various charities. If you check out myspace.com/novembeardforthecure, Novembeards were being grown this year in order to fundraise and spread awareness for Ewing's Sarcoma, a bone cancer. Their goal was to raise $7,000 to donate to a children's hospital.

If you would like to gaze on some gnarly facial hair from Novembeard 2009, check out the website novembeard.com where participants sent in pictures of their daily growth, followed by comments such as “I'm barely breaking a 5 o'clock shadow L,” and “My wife made me shave my moustache because she said I look like a child molester.”

The sense of camaraderie during this Man Month is cute. The effects are not so cute. According to a study conducted by Lynx, 63% of men believe facial hair makes them more attractive BUT 92% of women prefer clean-shaven misters. At the same time, the average Joe spends 140 days of their lifetime shaving. Blokes, should you take a break from the blades?

beardIf you still haven't decided whether you want to join in on the fun next year, biggerbetterbeards.org listed “10 Very Good Reasons Why You Should Grow a Giant Beard”:
1. It instantly turns any man into an action figure. (It's like having machine guns on your face.)
2. Every beautiful woman you meet will want to touch, stroke, and possibly frolic in your amazing beard.
3. Giant beards are great for sledding.
4. It makes you appear smarter.
5. In times of crisis, people always flock to a bearded person.
6. It makes for a handy disguise.
7. In emergencies, a giant beard can keep you and your friends warm.
8. A beard makes for easy sailing (if it is large enough to be a sail).
9. You can hide things in it such as weapons, tools, and snacks.
10. A giant beard is great for smoke signals.
Sledding and smoke signals? How can you argue with that!

By Ok■an Alpdemir (IR/III)

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