“No Shave November” campaign doesn’t cut close enough


Editorial Staff


Surely, most of us have heard of the term “No-Shave November.” If you have not, it is a trend where people elect to go the full month of November without shaving.

For men, it’s been there, done that, got the T-shirt. For women, either you participate yourself or you express how you love or hate guys with scrawny beards. So, then, it would seem that “No-Shave November” is a boring social phenomenon that should have phased out by now, right?

How many of you knew that “No-Shave November” is actually a unique attempt to raise cancer awareness? How many of you knew that the idea behind it is to donate all of the money you would otherwise spend on shaving supplies? We would guess not too many.

What if we asked you where you’re supposed to donate? Any answer? Any clue at all?

We should take issue with this. Cancer has affected all of us in some way or another. This makes it hugely important for people and organizations to step up and do their best to raise not only awareness, but the funds that make treatment and research possible. People and groups fighting the good fight against cancer should be applauded.

On this same note, there are simply too many affiliations claiming “cancer awareness.” While awareness is important, if we continue beating the same drum over and over, we become vastly less effective in our battle. Just as a glut in a sales market is bad for business, too many organizations raising—or pretending to raise—awareness will actually have a negative impact.

“No-Shave November” seems to be an example of a trend with good intentions, but its downfall is its seeming lack of organization and accessibility. While it has caught on with a few members of the Atlanta Falcons, it is problematic that it has been a trend for all of these years but has lost the original meaning it set out to support.

It has taken all of these years for more than just an elite group of bearded individuals to have an understanding of goals and purpose, though, even today, it is a faint understanding at best. For “No-Shave November” to truly accomplish its noble purpose, the organization behind it needs to make themselves more accessible. Otherwise, it runs the risk of being cast aside onto the heap of other failed “awareness” campaigns.

Cancer awareness is probably one of the most important and worthy causes of this generation. But even great causes can be negated by a flood of unorganized, inaccessible campaigns. At the very least, we should know where are donations are going. Different charities have different focuses, like research or end of life care. You may want your money to support one of these more than the other.

It is also true that some charities are truly non-profit, and others less so. It’s important for a movement like “No-Shave November”—or any drive to raise money, large or small— select out some specific charities to donate their money too. This benefits everyone, the people giving the money who want it to do good, and the organizations that will use the money properly.

“No-Shave November” is an example of these problematic campaigns, but it isn’t the only one. Perhaps it was successful in creating a trend, but is it really doing “good?”