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Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Column: Scruff-fest

Fellas, get ready to press snooze one more time on that alarm clock because, that’s right: it’s No-Shave November. Yes, for an entire month, many men partake in the annual tradition of letting their facial hair grow out. It’s a symbol of manliness, which apparently is just the ability to grow a decent amount of facial hair.

If you’ve never heard of this phenomenon, allow me to describe it. The premises are fairly simple: the last day that you shave is Halloween and then no shaving for the entire month of November. Men often take pictures of their faces until the end of the month, documenting the transformation. Essentially, it’s like looking at a picture of a hairless sphynx cat and then comparing it to Chewbacca.

Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but it is definitely a drastic change, especially for those who grow hair very quickly. For those who sprout a few hairs on their chin and attempt to call it a goatee: sorry, your transformation is not going to look very radical. Unfortunately, your pictures may just look like you forgot to wipe that chocolate after diving into the leftover Halloween candy.

Let’s be honest, some guys look like they’re 12 years old without beards. In those cases, facial hair can be helpful during times when adults ask where your parents are, you try to enter a club or you need to keep scary pedophiles away.

Speaking of pedophiles, try to avoid looking like one during No-Shave November. If you’re one of those guys who grows a mustache that looks especially like you shouldn’t be hanging around elementary schools, by all means abandon this tradition of month-long manhood. No one should get hurt in this process, and children running away from you in fear and tripping could definitely cause some damage.

Don’t know what kind of facial hair to grow? Look around, there’s inspiration lurking at every corner. Presidents from Abe Lincoln to Rutherford B. Hayes have had beards, the latter being the more imposing one. Maybe you’re looking for more thuggish facial hair; if so, look no further than the grunting Rick Ross or even rapper Freeway. If the most you can grow is a mustache, try the ever prevalent Tom Selleck, or more recently, the Ron Swanson, for my fellow “Parks and Recreation” fans.

If you’ve always wanted to stroke your beard while pretending to think about something profound, No-Shave November is the month for you. Socrates and Plato both had long beards and since they probably came up with philosophies while stroking them, why can’t you? If you’re not so sure about having to think, or even pretend to think, why not try growing out your sideburns into mutton chops? Yes, those sideburns look pretty disgusting, but on the flip side that’s quite an impressive amount of hair. Plus, keeping all of that hair will help you stay warm during Davis’ brutal winter.

Guys, be warned: not all ladies love the scruff. Sure, a little bit of stubble is sexy, but when a beard gets too long you may begin to look like a hobo. No-Shave November, therefore, is not about getting the ladies, it’s about displaying manliness. It’s also a way to raise awareness about men’s health issues, which I did not know about until looking it up. Whatever the reason, just don’t expect to get too many ladies.

No-Shave November is a month of ruggedness and sometimes pure laziness. Guys who decide to partake in it: be prepared to itch like crazy and get food stuck in that insanely long beard. Everyone else: be prepared to see your friends transform into cavemen.

MEDHA SRIDHAR is excited to watch guys go from sphynx cats to Chewbacca. Contact her about your journey through the month at mdsridhar@ucdavis.edu.


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