Gender binaries are no longer as strictly defined as they used to be. Now, people are beginning to accept the fact that gender exists on a spectrum and that there is no need to conform to outdated expectations of the past. That’s why many women are embracing their beards.
Historically, the females have been portrayed without facial hair because it’s not something many of women possess – trying to tell a woman to grow a beard is like telling a man to grow breasts. But for a select few, it’s a biological quirk that’s reeked havoc in their lives, destroying their self-esteem and their skin as they incessantly shave it off.
However, some bearded ladies are no longer fighting what nature gave them. Instead, they’re embracing their beards and a number of them are opening up about their struggles – which, for most, is the result of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormone imbalance that affects between five and 10% of all women and young girls. It has a number of side effects which can include irregular periods, weight gain, acne, and, for some, excess facial and body hair.
Check out this video below where a bearded lady, Rose Geil, pictured above, opens up about her decision to stop shaving!
“I definitely feel feminine since I’ve grown my beard and it has very little to do with physical appearance it’s all about my attitude giving myself the freedom to be exactly who I am, because of that I definitely feel womanly, I feel sexy,” Rose said.
Women like Rose who grow beards first realize that they are different at puberty, which is already a confusing and angst-ridden time for many adolescents. All teenagers want to do is fit in and that’s something which is even harder for women with beards to do.
But what is truly shocking about Rose’s decision is the reception it has received on social media.
The internet is notorious for trolls who go out of their way to abuse and harass people who are different. While bearded ladies are far from being the norm, Rose has had a surprisingly positive response to her appearance on social media – in fact, she’s even had marriage proposals.
“Some of them get a little carried away, marriage proposals, offering plane tickets to come visit, inappropriate pictures you name it,” she said.
Another bearded lady who has publicly spoken about her decision to embrace her beard is Harnaam Kaur, pictured below. Tragically, her facial hair caused her to contemplate taking her own life, but everything changed for her when she decided to ditch her razor and embrace it.
Harnaam first noticed that she was growing excess body hair at the age of 11. She was bullied at school and into her working life as a result.
“I was so close to ending it all,” she revealed. “As I battled with the voice in my head telling me to ‘do it’ I fought with all my soul and said ‘no I f***ing won’t.'”
“I woke up to [realize that] being called a bearded lady isn’t an insult at all.”
“Bearded ladies are brave, strong, passionate, resilient, forgiving, compassionate, powerful, beautiful, empowered, courageous, kind, gregarious, sincere, sexy… Why wouldn’t I want to be one?” she said.
However, not all bearded ladies are biological women.
In 2014, drag queen Conchita Wurst came to the world’s attention after winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Her appearance shocked people around the world, who couldn’t comprehend why a drag queen would choose to keep such a seemingly masculine feature.
“I know that it’s something that you don’t see every day,” Conchita said in an interview with Graham Norton.
“But I created this bearded lady to show everybody that you just have one life and you better make it fabulous. And that’s just my own truth.”
“I feel this stage persona and I felt more comfortable on stage [with a beard]. Besides that, I’m a member of the gay community and [growing up as a gay boy] in a small town wasn’t the most fun thing on Earth.”
Like many women who have facial hair, growing up as a homosexual boy, Conchita tried to fit in with those around her.
“Over the years, I tried to fit in, and I changed myself in every way you can imagine because I just wanted to be part of the game, and then I realized that I create the game.”
Conchita is pictured above singing ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.
We hope that the women who have chosen to embrace their facial hair inspire others to love the skin that they are in, regardless of what they chose to do with it. No one should be made to feel inferior because of their biological makeup, or, in Conchita’s case, sexuality.