A monthlong bearded excursion for our four staff members led to plenty of itching, scratching and apologies to girlfriends.

NoShavember. Novembeard. Movember.

The cultural phenomenon goes by many names, yet its popularity seems to increase every year as winter draws nigh.

NoShavember is exactly what it sounds like. Young men everywhere refrain from shaving for the month of November. The skyrocketing popularity of the razor-free event leaves many asking the logical question: What’s the point?

Photo: Chris Baker
Photos showing Day 1 and Day 30 of The NewsHouse lead producer Chris Baker's monthlong commitment to not shaving in November.

We here at The NewsHouse decided to take a gonzo approach to this question. All four young men on the editorial staff (myself included) participated in NoShavember 2011. After 31 days of itching, scratching and apologizing to my girlfriend, I can confidently state that I'm still not entirely sure.

Instances of NoShavember being employed as a charity event can be seen across the country, but there is no overall organization behind it all., for instance, encourages men to join the movement to raise awareness for a healthy lifestyle. Most men, however, simply participate for fun.

NoShavember arose, it would appear, from a not-so-clever play on words. The trend, while popular on college campuses, hasn’t quite expanded to the rest of the world. While Syracuse’s campus is littered with scruffy-looking men, the community beyond the hill is mostly oblivious to the month-long fabricated holiday.

I discovered this the hard way at Thanksgiving dinner with my family. When badgered about my unkempt appearance, I mentioned I was participating in NoShavember. I received nothing but blank stares, even from my 20-something cousins and my twin brother. When prodded about the purpose of the event, I was left dumbfounded, unable to offer any type of coherent explanation.

My razor-free month was characterized by confusion. My flimsy explanation of the occassion was typically met with indifferent shrugs or ambivalent sighs. More than once I heard women on campus eagerly awaiting Dec. 1 when the men would once again look presentable.

Perhaps my experience would vary if I had a thick, rugged beard. Were that the case, I would look for any excuse to show it off. My glorious mane, however, is patchy at best. Ultimately, I’m just thankful November is over and no one plans to celebrate Decembeard, at least not at The NewsHouse.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.