Temple students grow out beards for challenge, charity

No Shave November is meant to raise awareness for cancer, but some students partake for fun.


It’s that time of year again: as the weather gets colder, the beards get longer. 

The month of November is a time for people to grow out their body hair and participate in the No Shave November movement, which consists of different organizations that promote growing body hair support cancer research and treatment.

Movember, an organization created in Australia in 2003, encourages men to grow their facial hair to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers, according to the Movember Foundation, a charity that promotes men’s health. 

The goal of No-Shave November, a nonprofit organization for cancer awareness, is to embrace one’s hair, which many cancer patients lose during cancer treatment. Participants are supposed to donate the money they typically spend on shaving and grooming, according to No-Shave November. 

Some Temple students said this message has been lost, and instead men participate in No Shave November for a challenge or fun activity.

Chris Berardi, a senior English major, said the month is more about making jokes about his overly hairy face with his friends.

“No guy has ever asked me about my beard and related it to cancer,” Berardi added.

Berardi grows his beard out because he sees it as a way to experiment with a different style, he said.

“If someone sees it, and it ends up raising awareness, that’s great,” he added. “But overall, I think the majority of dudes just do it because they don’t feel like shaving.”

Typically, participants will post a picture with the caption #LetItGrow and use social media to spread awareness. Those who cannot grow facial hair can participate in the movement by encouraging others to get involved as well as posting on social media, ABC News reported.

Elias Deaibes, a freshman bioengineering major, said he wasn’t aware of the origins of the movement but still participates. 

“[I started doing it] because the Red Sox did it before,” he said. “It’s just a fun thing to do.”

In 2013, the Boston Red Sox grew out their beards out to support One Fund Boston, which raised money for families affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, the New York Post reported. However, this was in October and not associated with No-Shave November.

While Deaibes wasn’t aware No Shave November brought awareness to prostate cancer, he expressed his excitement when he found out that the trend was something more than just growing out facial hair.

“Some of my family has cancer, so now I can say I’m supporting them,” he added.

The organization No-Shave November has raised $850,000 by more than 13,000 members, teams and organizations as of Nov. 18 at 12 p.m., according to their website.

Dotan Yarden, a junior music education major, said he participated in No Shave November as a teenager, but now he grows his beard year-round. 

“When I first started noticing I had facial hair back in middle school, it was a way to measure how much of a beard I could grow in a month,” Yarden said.

It was not until several years later that Yarden found out the history of No-Shave November.

“It’s natural for guys to grow out their beards out in the winter because it’s cold, so I don’t think people are surprised,” Yarden added.

Although the real message behind No-Shave November is subliminal, Deaibes thinks it does not devalue the movement.

“If even one person does end up asking about it and they end up finding out more information on it, then the goal has been achieved,” he said.

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