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Movember is Here: Getting Hairy to Grow Men’s Cancer Awareness

The goal of Movember (aka No-Shave November) is to GROW cancer awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose during treatment. In addition to not shaving, organizations often encourage participants to donate the money they usually spend on shaving and grooming for a month to educate others about cancer prevention, help save lives, and aid those fighting the battle. Although some of you may not be able to grow a beard or mustache worth bragging about, you can now appreciate the hair around you! Start by tipping your hats off to some of these great men of history:

  1. In addition to winning the Nobel Prize in Physics and being the father of modern physics, Albert Einstein sported a fine mustache. Along with his wild hair, his ‘stache has helped define the popular image of the brilliant, but absent-minded physicist. Does this mean that the “m” in E=mc² stands for “mustache?”

  1. Abraham Lincoln is probably the most famous face, and certainly the most famous beard, in the history of the world. There are more portraits of him in existence than of any other face, and you probably have several jingling in your pocket right now, and maybe another couple folded in your wallet, but would you believe me if I told you that his beard was inspired by an 11-year-old girl?! Yes. Grace Bedell wrote to Lincoln saying that he would get more presidential votes if he let his whiskers grow because his face was so thin!
  2. Although Mark Twain had a lot to say about facial hair in that “It performs no useful function; it is a nuisance and a discomfort; all nations hate it; all nations persecute it with the razor,” the American author and humorist still sported a memorable mustache.
  3. Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali‘s upturned mustache was not only a flamboyant addition, but an essential part of his attention-grabbing personality. Dali’s mustache was influenced by Spanish painter Diego Velázquez, and he also said:

“Since I don’t smoke, I decided to grow a mustache – it’s better for the health. However, I always carried a jewel-studded cigarette case in which, instead of cigarettes, were carefully placed several mustaches, Adolphe Menjou style. I offered them politely to my friends:

‘Mustache? Mustache? Mustache?’ He sure knew how to grow cancer awareness, huh?

  1. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax “speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues,” and unless someone cares about all of the Truffula trees “which everyone needs”, the situation will proceed. Just as he’d like for the Once-ler to care about the forest, he brings awareness to No-Shave November with his luxuriant ‘stache, too.
  2. The 26th President of the United States, Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt, is not only noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, but also for being the only mustache featured on Mount Rushmore.
  3. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered for being a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, yet his neatly trimmed mustache refuted his age; he was only 39 when he died.
  4. Charlie Chaplin was a silent film icon of the 20th century.  The small ‘stache was a key part of Chaplin’s Little Tramp character. In his autobiography, Chaplin wrote that he added it to his makeup to “add age without changing my expression.”
  5. Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer who displayed a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism. That explains why a man with such composure had such a disorderly mustache; he was a cliché himself!
  6. Zeus, King of the Greek Gods, is always depicted as a magnificent man, muscular and with a beard – indicating his status as an experienced leader of the Olympian family, as opposed to other male gods such as Apollo and Hermes who are often depicted as young men with no beards. You may even hear the phrase ‘by the beard of Zeus’ used as an exclamation of greatness because of how pristine and finely combed his facial hair was at all time.

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Brittany Marklin

Brittany Marklin is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a community manager for K12. She coordinates all K12 student contests and connects with families who pursue online education. She attended George Mason University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, with a minor in tourism and events management. Brittany spent her first five years at K12 on the social media team where she aided with content and strategy for multiple channels, and helped construct K12’s user-generated content site, “What’s Your Story?” When she’s not working, Brittany loves spending time with her husband and daughter in North Carolina.

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