As November is now in full-swing, many of us have probably heard about No-Shave November. Though it’s a relatively universal cultural concept, most people don’t know its true origin. According to the No-Shave November website, “The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.”
The organization’s logo does contain a moustache, yet their statement seems that No-Shave November is open for anyone to join in — and in whatever way they can. It is simply all about donating money you would spend on shaving and grooming in support of cancer patients who lose their hair. So why limit it at men not shaving their facial hair for the month of November? And that does not mean taking away support for men’s health, but rather that those who can participate shouldn’t be limited to any one group of people, whether that be different genders, races and ethnicities, ages, etc.
As this has been mostly an event exclusively for men since its beginning — often times using the name Movember as well (for Moustache November) — women participating in No-Shave November is perhaps more of a statement. Additionally, women’s body hair has long been seen as “not normal,” despite the fact that not shaving is actually a non-behavior. In other words, by not shaving you’re actually doing nothing. Despite the fact that not shaving requires no action, the idea of women not shaving seems disturbing to some people. Women who don’t shave are seen as inherently less clean and attractive. Though, I should mention that (just like makeup), it all comes down to personal choice and women should not feel pressured in both directions. It is about gaining confidence in knowing you are controlling your grooming habits, choosing to shave or not. This said, it can be extremely difficult to feel comfortable to defy societal norms to not shave. But this month is all about the visibility of body hair, right? After all, men are choosing to grow out their facial hair for a good cause. So if you want to not shave your legs or underarms for the month of November (or the whole year), go for it! And if someone sees your leg hair and is disturbed, it’s their loss. You’re joining in on a campaign with a great purpose and if men’s facial hair isn’t revolting, why should the prickly hairs on your legs be?