We’re deep into November and I cannot help but notice that virtually every boy over the age of 15 has lost their razor. I understand that the ability to grow facial hair embodies some sort of manliness that appears to be biologically wired into every single male; however, as a girl who enjoys showers and perfume, I find myself baffled by the idea of an unhygienic month of men and their hair. I know these men still bathe themselves and (hopefully) use deodorant; yet, the idea of not shaving has an unpleasant ring to it. My growing curiosity brought me back to Michael John, guru of all things manly, for a quick Q&A about the mystery that is No Shave November.
TC: We all know what No Shave November is, so my question is: why?
MJ: Why NSN? Well some guys actually are really great about it, and use this time to fund raise and donate. For others, it’s a time of the year where a guy can literally do whatever the hell he wants with his appearance regarding his facial hair. For whatever reasons behind it– from being lazy to showing up all of your friends with a real grizzly beard, it’s the one time of the year where guys have complete control over their appearance. And girls can’t say anything about it.
TC: So you just want to look as grimy and grizzly as possible?
MJ: No, not necessarily, some guys pull it off. It’s satisfying sometimes looking into the mirror saying to yourself, “Yeah, I could keep growing it for years if I wanted to, and it’ll look great; I’ll have a new style.” If it looks like crap, I don’t care, it’s friggin’ No Shave November.
TC: How do guys perceive other guys’ facial hair?
MJ: What are you saying? Do I check out other guys?
TC:No! Like, how do you judge other guys’ facial hair?
MJ: So you realize other dudes’ facial hair, and you show it appreciation. If it’s looks good, you give em a little
head nod. You don’t check out other dudes– that’s creepy. It’s like, if you see a dude with a flat top, you give em a little head nod. The nod recognizes-
TC: A feat? Like a feat, something to be proud of?
MJ: No, it recognizes a sick ass haircut that only few could pull of. Same goes with beards.
TC: Breakdown the beard growing process.
MJ: Everyone starts at the same spot- clean and shaved after Halloween. Either it gets real creepy real fast, or there is potential. For example, if your mustache grows faster than your beard, you have a problem. There are a lot of unfortunate people out there that can barely grow a crappy little attempt at a goatee, let alone dream of a beard. All they can grow is a dirty little mustache, weird patches, or a “bitch beard”. On the other hand, if a few weeks in, you look in the mirror and see a full face of hair, it feels good to know that you can grow a beard. The ability to do that is envied in guy world.
TC: What happens to the facial fur at the end of the month?
MJ: The end of the month is probably one of the funniest things. You can do anything you want with it. You can shave literally anything you want into your beard and scare the living crap out of your girlfriend. What if I came in with perfectly sculpted mutton chops?
TC: I would cry and consider calling the police because you would look like a cross between a convicted red-neck and a pedophile.
MJ: That’s messed up.
TC: But it’s true.
MJ: Well guys go nuts with it. Just do whatever the hell they want.
TC: Are you trying to tell me that No Shave November completely disregards women?
MJ: No, if the wifey wants it trimmed, you trim it. It depends on the dynamic of the relationship, but if he’s a good guy, he should always be willing to compromise.
Just as I expected, No Shave November is just another way for guys to get their testosterone pumping. The appeal of a face carpet is still beyond my comprehension, but I understand why they hold it at such high esteem. It’s a part of guy world that girls aren’t meant to be a part of. Some of us may fall subject to the misfortunes of a furry faced boyfriend, but after hearing the significance and respect commanded by a beard amongst a group of men, I’m ready to take a step back from complaining. It may look messy, but instead of slapping your boyfriend across the face for looking less like a man and more like a woolly mammoth, be proud and pat him on the back for being blessed with the ability to be a (hairy) man amongst boys.