Every year, millions of people decide to take a break from shaving. Whether it be their legs or faces, November is full of fur balls!

Aaisha Sanaullah, Staff Reporter

No-Shave November, also known as Movember, is an annual, month-long event where men (known as “Mo Bros”) grow mustaches to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, as well as other men’s health issues.

The campaign began in Australia in 2004. In fact, “mo” is Australian slang for mustache. Since then, the campaign has spread to Ireland,Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom,New Zealand, South Africa, and now, the United States.

To participate in Movember, men must register on the organization’s website. The organization started with 30 Mo Bros in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 and has since skyrocketed to 854,288 in 2011.

At the start of Movember, Mo Bros start clean-shaven. For 30 days, they grow and maintain a mustache. In other words, they become walking billboards, raising awareness and influencing others to donate to the cause.

Personally, I believe in the importance of this cause. Men’s health issues are put on the back burner in the media and in our own realities. They are rarely discussed, especially in comparison to women’s health issues. Breast cancer is a media highlight, but is testicular cancer? Is prostrate cancer? Not so much.

Many people know that October is a month to raise awareness about breast cancer. Few know that November is the month to raise awareness about prostrate and testicular cancer in men.

Quite honestly, I dislike mustaches. But all vanity aside, how effective is it to have men growing mustaches? Many men grow mustaches, most of the time just because of their own personal preference, not necessarily for the cause that Movember promotes.

Let’s say a Mo Bro does grow a mustache. His friends and family will know why he’s doing it, because they know he usually never grows a mustache. But what about people he encounters during Movember? They won’t know it’s in support of awareness of men’s health issues unless the Mo Bro tells him.

Freshman Daniel Ramirez said, “ I’ve never heard of Movember. I respect people who do it [grow a mustache] but I don’t think I would. I don’t personally know anyone who’s affected by it, but I respect people who do it.”

What if Ramirez actually has encountered a Mo Bro growing a mustache during Movember, but didn’t know it was to support a particular cause? Movember isn’t in the media enough for it to become a household topic, so the efforts of these Mo Bros (at least in the United States where the concept is relatively new) is not as fully recognized as it should be.

Instead of just focusing on getting men worldwide to grow mustaches, Movember should be publicized more in the media so that when someone sees a man with a mustache, they immediately think of the cause behind it.

If growing mustaches is the only support besides donating that an individual can offer, women are left out. Mo Bros are supported by the women in their lives (known as Mo Sistas).

But when it comes to October and breast cancer awareness, men are active supporters, proudly sporting pink and participating in walks to support their women—and women worldwide—who are affected with breast cancer every year.

Looking at the role of women in Movember, their participation looks disproportional in comparison.

Freshman Niyah Anderson said, “Women should participate in Movember. Women should focus more on the promotion of the whole thing. If men actually grow the mustaches, women should encourage more men to do it.”

While the mustache is still, to a degree, effective in spreading the word, Movember should be promoted more in the media and other forms of showing support should be encouraged so that more people can take part in promoting a truly important and worthwhile cause.