Men's issues need love too

It’s that time of year again. Relax, parents, I’m not talking about the holiday shopping season. And students, stop cheering. I’m not talking about No School November, either. Amy Chen

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s No Shave November. It’s the time of patchy, scruffy beards on people who didn’t have beards in the first place — for good reason.

A little history on No Shave November. No Shave November exists because “November” and “No Shave” both start with “No.” The same applies to the lesser known “No Smoking November,” “No Mercy November” and “No Shame November.” Well, this isn’t entirely true. Alongside the “fun” known as No Shave November, there is a greater cause — men’s health. Unlike attention-grabbing breast cancer awareness events involving the color pink, No Shave November is not as well known for its charitable cause. In the halls of high school, it is not as much of a battle against cancer as a battle of the beards. Instead of raising awareness of prostate and testicular cancers, it is, for the most part, a slow display of masculinity.

This year, my brother is participating in No Shave November — or rather, Movember (Mustache November). Movember has its own website, complete with teams and donations. Like the Race for the Cure does for breast cancer, Movember gives funds to programs dealing with prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

It’s time to pull Movember into the spotlight it deserves. Not just in the global community — Movember has raised over $38 million worldwide this month — but also in our local community. Lake Oswego High School has a “Think Pink” week, a week during which students don pink garb to raise awareness of breast cancer. LOHS also has No Shave November. But unlike the increasingly popular Movember, our No Shave November exists seemingly “just because.” We celebrate through taking pictures of participants pre- and post- November and have some kind of reward system. From what I’ve heard, however, most participate “for the glory.”

I’m not saying that we should suck the fun out of No Shave November. One of Movember’s goals is fun: “we create fun.” I’m saying that the non-shaving season could be turned into so much more. Some mention of prostate and testicular cancers or maybe donations in the name of your favorite bearded beauty. So much can be done with No Shave November in our area, yet little is.

But these are goals for future years at LOHS, ideas for future Novembers of mustached wonder. In the meantime, there is still a way to help Movember’s cause. There are nearly 900,000 Movember teams participating in the event — 900,000 teams that would appreciate your loving support (and donations). If advocating for one’s own cause is called a “shameless self-promotion,” here is a little “shameless charitable-sibling-promotion”: my favorite team is “Mustaches for the Boys.” My favorite participant? “D Chen.”

Putting my adorable attempt at being a supportive sibling aside, the truth is that donations gained through No Shave November aren’t about the participants but the people the participants help. According to the National Cancer Institute, more new cases of prostate cancer arise per year than of breast cancer—about 238,000. Add those who suffer from testicular cancer and mental illness, and it becomes even more obvious that Movember makes the itchiness and patchiness of facial hair worth more than just the glory of showing off masculinity.

To donate to Movember, go to If you wish to donate to a particular team or individual — wink, wink — click on the “donate” box in the top right corner: donating to specific teams/individuals and to the general cause will pop up as options.

Amy Chen is a senior at Lake Oswego High School, and she writes a monthly column for the Review. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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