What do you do when your husband comes to you and says that he wants to grow a beard? I cringed. My husband has never been the type of guy to have facial hair of any kind. When he explained to me that it was a campaign to raise fund for breast cancer research, my resolve melted away.
A year ago when a friend of ours joined How Not To Grow A Beard Month (aka HoNoToGroABeMo), my husband, and fellow GeekDad, Brian McLaughlin was inspired that there was something he could actually do to inspire support for breast cancer research. Up to this year, our family has given an annual donation to one of several breast cancer charities in the name of members of my family who have survived a breast cancer diagnosis. It is a cause I whole heartedly support. The problem has always been that it is hard to involve the guys. I mean, men don’t have obvious breasts and it seems that all of the breast cancer campaigns are full of pink and can be tough for guys to relate to.
Founder Kris Johnson was inspired by National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, as it is known to participants worldwide) and its 30-day campaign to encourage novelists to write more than 500,000 words. Participation in NaNoWriMo has increased from 21 participants in 1999 to more than 200,000 writers in 2010. In March of 2007, Kris was also inspired by Evo Terra’s 5 o’clock shadow project where he would take a photo of himself at 5 PM everyday to show the world how much stubble he had amassed. So, in November of 2007, Kris decided to combine the model of NaNoWriMo with that of the 5 o’clock shadow program to create HoNoToGroBeMo. Its open to anyone “foolish” enough to set aside their razor for a full month.
The rules are simple:
- Shave every bit of hair off your chin, cheeks and upper lip on October 31st.
- Don’t shave again until December 1st.
- Take a photograph of the “progress” at roughly the same time every day and post it to the Internet.
Donations are accepted throughout the month to support your favorite facial hair farmer, each brings their own sense of personality to their daily posts. Some provide incentives to donors, some like to remain anonymous at all cost, and for others, like my husband, growing a beard apparently turns them quasi-evil like Dr. Doofensmirtz. The whole campaign is in good fun as 100% of the donations go straight to funding breast cancer research.
When my husband, Brian, decided that he was ready for a challenge, I kept an open-mind and supported him the whole month. I have reserved any real opinion of the facial hair till tomorrow, December 1st. That hasn’t been hard since I’m still on the fence. Today is the last day to contribute and if you are are interested in donating, please visit the HoNoGroABeMo donation site before midnight tonight!
Here has been the progression of his facial hair and his evil scientist side emerging.