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Written Interview: “It’s been easier to fight since I stopped fighting it.”

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***A reminder that nothing written on this site is intended to be taken for medical advice. Please check with your health provider before adding or making any changes to your treatment.***

This interview is from a 32-year-old, European woman who would like to be called CatLady. This struck me on several levels. She is incredibly strong and insightful, and has been through so much. CatLady, I am honored that you responded at all, and with such thoughtful, courageous content. Thank you.

When did you first discover you had facial hair?
It’s not just facial hair, it’s everywhere. And it’s those “other ones” that I noticed at first. I was about ten years old. I realised I was growing a beard around 16.

How did you react?
When I first saw my legs looked different than girls (and boys…) at school, I thought something was very wrong with me. I was told “something was wrong with me” since I was born, about everything, so it was nothing new… I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it, my parents were, let’s say, not available. So, I just avoided gym classes, changing clothes, sleepovers – basically, any situation that would require me to take clothes off. Then I finished elementary school, moved out of the “family home” and figured, if I stick to clothes that cover everything, I’ll get through it. Around fifteen I had a “boyfriend”, and one day after “making out” he asked me if I plucked hairs from my face. I didn’t. I didn’t really think about my face. I had a nervous tick – I would pull on my face hairs when anxious (often). But I didn’t realise what these hairs meant. When he asked, that’s when I started looking. And plucking. I think, back then, I had this thought that it was only temporary, that one day I won’t worry about this issue. I didn’t know it was only going to get worse with age.

What is the cause of your hair?
I was three years old when the Chernobyl “accident” happened, I didn’t live far away. It affected a lot of my peers’ health, in many ways. Also, my understanding is that my parents have allowed for medical experiments to be conducted on me when I was a child. My doctor explained it to me this way: my cells are not working properly, haven’t developed right. It’s a bit like a building built out of dry sand. It shouldn’t really stand, but hey, here I am! 🙂 It’s not just the hair, it affects the whole body. As you can imagine, all of it put together, affects the mind, too.

What have your medical experiences been like? How has it affected your life, other than the hair?
I have tried going to doctors, all kinds of them. I don’t really want to recall that, none of it was pleasant. Then I finally met the doctor I mentioned above, he really made an effort to figure out what is going on with my body. Then he retired and referred me to some young lady who passed me on to someone else who then referred me to a psychiatrist. Yup. In the meantime, I was given various meds. Since then I learnt one of them (anti-conception) caused some deaths in the country. Other one (hormones) took my period away for two years. Another one made me really sick. None of them did anything about the hair. About two years ago I started taking a herb: agnus castus. I cannot really tell if it affects the hair growth as my hairs are on speed these months plus laser plus plucking – but I *think* it makes it a bit… softer? As in: not as aggressive as they used to be. Though still on speed 😉 Agnus castus helps with hormone levels and is recommended to PCOS patients. Takes about six months to “start” working though so patience is required.

How have your family and friends reacted to the hair, if they know?
When I was eleven, my mother accidentally saw me and told me I was a mutant. Since then, I didn’t really feel like telling people. I told some. I told my fiance of six years – he was saying he “didn’t mind”. Our relationship ended due to him wanting to “have fun”, or rather: having said fun with hairless girls. He passed away now, so I am not going to go into all this but yeah, that didn’t help either. Then I told another boy. Well, showed rather than told. He asked if I was a man. And so on. So, no, it never really ended nicely as far as relationships are concerned. With other people, I didn’t tell many, a couple girls I felt close to. It was “ok”. Now, now it’s different because I have changed these recent years. I have left behind the desires to please others and/or to impress them. I am not sure if it’s about growing up but the pressure of “how do they perceive me??” really got to me at some point. Ironically, I did not realise it at all. Until my body broke and told me: “you’re taking a break now, time to figure out what it is you really want from life”. Turned out, making a good impression on people I barely know was not how I want to spend my life. True, I have been living quite alone last few years due to this breaking situation, but still, now I am able to say: “Oh, yeah, I have hirsutism. It’s when you have hair growing all over your body” in passing. Instead of: “Let’s make an appointment, sit down, be ready because I will now tell you something huge and scary”. Yes, of course, it is still an issue. But – five years ago I’d tell my fiance not to call the ambulance if something happened to me, so that they don’t see the hair. Now, now I want to give a hug to that younger me and tell her: “silly, look what you are worrying about”.

How do you make sense of the hair? What does it mean for you?
Today I see it as a gift. And I really mean that.

I remember back when I was active in the cyster community, we were talking with one friend and we both agreed we wouldn’t “swap” the hair. Realising that there are people out there who suffer so much more due to their medical conditions and they live their lives, they try, they don’t give up – this was the first step.

Then, there is the personal aspect: I have been protected all my life. I was born into not-so-good family, the town where I was a child was creepy and dark for too many reasons, I followed path of destruction and escape as my peers did. Every time I was about to make a Really Bad Mistake, I somehow was diverted from it. I wouldn’t be able to count how many mistakes were prevented “through” the hair. I am so happy I was not able to do the things I wanted to do in the past.

Having your own self-esteem issues makes you understand others better, builds up empathy in you. You have more respect toward others, you see the world in more clearer light. You understand unrealistic expectations. You understand we can’t look like the ladies on the magazine covers. You cannot be hijacked by the corporations and businesses going after your soul. That’s, in my opinion, a super-power.

It’s what I hope my life is shaping up to be now. At some point I started comparing. I am involved in some refugee helping etc and learning about lives of people going through what they’re going through – it made me realise my blessings. Among all my blessings, the hair is just one little obstacle.

And lastly, though it took a long time and I am still working on it – that realisation that I am not my hair, I am me. That genuine belief that if someone says something stupid about it – it’s them that there’s something wrong with – not me. That realisation was extremely freeing.

Having said all that, here’s the kicker. I have decided to devote my life to the orphans and not to pursue romantic relationships. This is not to say, if I meet someone who will somehow be able to prove me that they will respect me for who I really am, not what I look like, I will run. No, no. My point is – I changed my priorities. I am so focused on my plans and have so many (realistic) ideas about them that no-husband-option is not something that I think about too much. I accepted – ok, this is my thing. Everyone has a thing. Many have way more, and heavier things. It’s the acceptance of it, on a physical and psychological level, that makes everything else so much easier. It’s been easier to fight since I stopped fighting it.

What fears, if any, have you had or currently have about the hair?
The thing that scares me is that I’d start thinking about it again; un-accept it, if you will. I don’t feel this way but there are bad-hair-days when I go back to that old place – thinking what others will think, will they notice; how I reallllly prefer winter to summer… This happens less and less but it still happens. I don’t want to be slave to the hair, to my looks, to social expectations. My fear is to waste too much time, too much life on worrying about something so insignificant.

Have you in the past, or do you currently, remove it? How?
Not on my body, because my skin is too sensitive. Ok, when it gets really too much, then I’ll shave, gently, but it means bleeding for weeks and scars – not pleasant. A lot of nasty rashes when it grows back. My face – I pluck, tweeze, use cream and do laser every six weeks. Which is why the skin on my face is ruined. Laser itself shouldn’t be done so often, and it does not remove hair for me. It just makes it easier to pluck, tweeze, cream… The ingrown hairs (and consequences) are quite bad. These months, I have been letting it grow out a little bit. Because of all the laser, etc, they don’t grow as “hard and heavy” so, when I put thick make-up on, it’s not as visible. Still visible, but it’s that part of me not wanting to care so much. Putting cream on is painful, my face hurts for days afterwards. So, I do it less often. If they stare, let them stare. I wouldn’t know, I always look at the ground anyway 😉

What has happened when you have removed? What methods have worked, and what has not?
As above, meds did not work. Plucking I think is most successful, however it takes way too much time. Cream is the easiest if you have “thick skin”. Laser, if your insurance covers it, and if you have dark hairs, and if you are not expecting miracles – may or may not work. I’d say, try but if it doesn’t work for you after a year – leave it.

If you do not remove, how did you come to that decision? What has it been like for you?
On the days I let go (more and more often), it surprises me how I don’t really care that much. Of course, I’d rather didn’t have a beard. But, once I force myself to leave the house, once I’m out and about – it’s not so scary. Admittedly, I haven’t had any negative reactions as I don’t interact with people much and I stare at the ground a lot 😉 I guess that’s my way of coping with it until I am strong enough to hold my head up high. Hopefully, that day will come 🙂

Have you ever been made fun of for it?
Not fun as much, as hurt. It was back when I would “date” people. Some guys can be quite nasty. But this was my fault. I wasn’t talking to the intelligent men with priorities worth exploring. I didn’t see myself worthy of the “good guys”, I was reaching out to the, erhm, not-so-good ones. This was a big change in my attitude – I no longer blame myself (or my body) for someone else being rude and/or stupid.

What kinds of thoughts come into your mind when you think about the hair?
The mind. How hirsutism is a psychological issue more than it is a physical one. How it is do to with the world around us and expectations; how we do not realise that maybe someone wants us to spend a lot of money on certain cosmetics. When I think of hair, I think – “why am I thinking about hair again??”.

How does it impact your self-esteem, if at all?
Certainly less than it used to. And I hope and pray that every day, it will affect me this little bit less.

Are there any positive aspects or benefits of the hair?
Most of them are benefits (see a few questions up). If we see them that way. It really is up to us. Not just about the hair, but about everything “bad” that happens to us. If we see the positive aspects, it will become a positive thing. Faith and patience help, for sure 🙂

It doesn’t mean we are not allowed to cry about it from time to time. We’re human. It’s about not making it into the only thing we think and cry about.

If you grow it (don’t remove), do you prefer that people ask about it, or ignore it? What have your experiences been with interested parties?
I partially answered this above. I think, for now, I still feel more comfortable if people ignore it. However, if they ask, I’d answer – because how else are they supposed to know?

Do you have a community of other hairy females? If so, where do you find them?
I used to be more active in the online cyster community. Since I got “broken”, I moved away a bit. Maybe I should pop in and see how everyone is? 🙂

Why do you think hairy females are not considered beautiful in mainstream culture?
Because mainstream culture is idiocracy. What “culture”? There’s no culture in the mainstream. We need to stop chasing after the photoshopped ideals and focus on what really matters. The baby doesn’t care if Mom has a beard. Until the baby grows up, watches tv and learns that what baby thought was normal and ok – suddenly becomes uncool and weird.

What do you want to say to other hairy women out there? What do you wish someone would say to you?
To all the women: trust in yourself. You don’t need a corporation to tell you if you are beautiful, smart, fashionable, “a good catch”, etc. Find out what matters to you, what is really important. Find a purpose, your purpose – not what “you are supposed to do” because everyone else is doing it. Learn about yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses. Test your limits. And accept them – understand that if something is not meant to be, it’s ok. We can’t have everything. Don’t dwell on it, look for something else that will make you happy. Don’t put yourself in a cage. Face your fears – never assume how things will turn out, you don’t know the future. When you fall, don’t give up, don’t stay down. If it goes wrong ten times, eleventh time might be the one that will change your life. Have faith. Have patience. Have hope. Be strong.

I wish someone told me… I guess I wish I knew that it’s ok to be myself. This society, the media, schools – we are constantly told what to be but nobody asks us what we want to be. I wish someone told me that what they say doesn’t really matter.

Much love to everyone who is struggling. I wish every cyster to find peace and happiness.

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Sending Love

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Things in my life are finally calming down, and I can devote time and energy to the site and blog. As it should be.

So what exactly have I been up to? Mostly this. I also have another new, part-time job that I started this week! Very exciting stuff 🙂

On to more serious things…

I got an email from one of the women who sent in a written interview, basically saying that she regretted doing it and that it was causing her an extreme amount of distress to have it floating out in cyberspace. She asked me to take it down, and I did. It brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings for me. I feel terrible that this has caused someone pain like that. The whole point of this project is to bring light to a sensitive subject and try to normalize it a little. It made me worry that there might be other women out there who are suffering because of this site, something I’ve written… That’s an awful prospect.

If anything here has caused you pain, I am deeply sorry. This is supposed to be a safe, thoughtful space to discuss some sensitive things. I never want anyone to feel hurt because of something I post.

My sense, from the feedback I’ve gotten, is that it’s been mostly helpful. I know it’s been helpful for me. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to have a place to talk about my life as a woman with a beard. You don’t get that in the everyday.

People have been so positively responsive to this whole thing. I monitor all comments made on the blog, and in all this time, I’ve only had to reject one comment. One! Pretty amazing, given all of the fears and worries I have about revealing this part of myself to people. It shows that yeah, some people are jerks. Maybe lots of people are jerks. But when I put myself out there in an honest, positive way, the response is usually honest and positive right back.

Please continue to share your stories. I’ll continue to share mine. Believe me, I know it’s hard, but I also know that I usually underestimate people when it comes to revealing this part of myself. People often end up surprising me in delightful ways with their responses.

Sending out so much love to all of you. Have a wonderful day.

Written Interview: “It is just how it is…”

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This interview was removed at the interviewee’s request.

Nancy’s Interview: Bearded Muslim Woman

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Below is an interview from 28-year-old Nancy, who lives in Cairo, Egypt. She identifies herself as a bearded Muslim woman, and she works in the business field.

I cried while reading this. Nancy, thank you.

When did you first discover you had facial hair?
I have always tried to remember but failed repeatedly. It’s just like being soaked with water, you know its raining but you can’t remember or discern when and where the first drop of water has fallen.

Sometimes I think it’s a SELECTIVE amnesia; the way I can’t recall the most important moments in my life. Maybe my mind chooses to forget to ease the pain.

How did you react?
I was sooooo busy trying to find a hair removal way which works that I did not have the time to react or feel.

What is the cause of your hair?
PCOS, testosterone and hormonal problems and thyroid gland.

What have your medical experiences been like? How has it affected your life, other than the hair?
Ironically I grow hair in all the wrong places and lose it up there
I am losing hair in the front of the head that the doctor told me I
may face baldness.

I am taking this to a whole new level, the bald bearded lady.

How have your family and friends reacted to the hair, if they know?
I hide it from every body. I am too ashamed of it.

It’s a conservative society here in Egypt where girls hang out mainly
with girls. If my friends knew something like that I will be
considered a freak. They won’t know how to treat me or consider me. They will feel uncomfortable with me. Disgusted. I don’t blame them, as I still find it hard myself to digest the idea of a bearded me. I don’t know who am I. What am I.

What helps me hide the truth is that I wear “Hegab” which is Head
turban/cover that covers the hair and parts around the face. I have
been wearing this voluntarily for religious reasons years ago even
before this problem. Now I feel it’s a bless from God that allows me
to rest without having to remove the hair every day and I still get to look normal like many other girl with “Hegab” in Egypt. But I still have some awkward moments, like when I am in a girls only gathering or event and every girl takes off her “Hegab’ and I have to come up withstupid reasons why I can’t take mine off. Sometimes I say I amapplying a special serum to treat my hair and I want the Hegab on so the medicine can be well absorbed by the skull !!! Also I have to skip many events and trips as I am not prepared to sleep in the same room with anyone. When I need to do something it takes weeks of pre-planning to do it in the good days where I my hair is removed and no trace for it is under the skin.

As for my family I can never ever tell them something like this; for
some reason I feel that I have let them down by growing facial hair.
Can’t explain the feeling but I failed to be their cute feminine girl
as I am supposed to be. I feel like a disappointment. Plus I will
never give them the grandchildren they wait and deserve as I will
never get married.

At home after I return from work I have a quick discussion with every
one and then have to pretend to be tired to go to my room and close my door and take off my head cover. In the days where my facial hair is removed I can wear something to hide the semi-boldness in the front of my head and I get to spend the day with my family.

How do you make sense of the hair? What does it mean for you?
1- That I am unique. As a human I am unique. Just like my personality, unique.
2- Physically, I am ugly
3- A blessing from God to test my faith and patience.
4- The missing piece in the puzzle is my identity; am I a woman or am
I not. In my heart and soul I am, but how come I don’t look like a
complete one?

What fears have you had or currently have about the hair?
The fear of being exposed. Being in a situation were I am unconscious
like in a car accident or a coma or paralyzed and I can’t remove the
hair or wear the “Hegab” and they find out about the hair and the
baldness. And the hair keeps growing until I look totally freaky.

Another fear is that the hair will keep growing in other places. My
breast is my biggest concern. I already have some little hair there.
My back. I am afraid of gradually changing into a beast.

How do you remove it?
For my face I use the wax and sometime threading. For my body I
shave. For my breast it is still little hair but ugly.

What has happened when you have removed? What methods have worked,
and what has not?

The wax is the best way. The threading for short hair but it leaves a
lot of scars. The most annoying days is when the hair is under the skin or too short to be removed.

Do you ever not remove? What has happened?
Some days I feel depressed and I feel like I can’t handle the
emotional pain of looking in the mirror and face the hair. I am just
too weak to remove it. So I just keep it growing and hide behind the
“Hegab” until I regain emotional power.

Have you ever been made fun of for it?
No. Only for the way I tie my “Hegab” which is a bit funny as I need
to cover my chin but I say it’s the way that I like it.

What have your dating/romantic experiences been like?
After the hair none. I have too much dignity and pride. Can not put
myself in situation were I get rejected. It is not the Sates here; I
can’t find an understanding lover.

Here I am ugly and abnormal and I don’t expect people to accept this
in a partner. It’s ok. I have to deal with it.
Love was not made for me.

What kinds of thoughts come into your mind when you think about the hair?
I feel like I want to cry. I feel broken.

How does it impact your self-esteem?
It does not impact my self-esteem when I think about myself as a human being. To the contrary I feel unique. I was never prejudice or cruel to people so I am not to my self as a human. I am still worthy, I am still improving, I am still loving, I am still praying for world peace and cures for every disease. I am still having fun, I am still
spoiling myself. I am still who I am.

But when I think about myself as a woman, that when all the sad
thoughts rush into my mind. All sort of sad things.

Are there any positive aspects or benefits of the hair?
God made me stronger. He is so merciful that when he has chosen me for this he gave me all the weapons. Faith and Patience. Maybe he puts me through this cause he loves me and wants to hear my
voice praying. May be he is preparing me for something better. Or saving me from something worse.

If you grow it (don’t remove), do you prefer that people ask about it, or ignore it?
I don’t. But if I ever did, if I were living some where else I would
prefer that people ask and understand.

Do you have a community of other hairy females? If so, where do you find them?
Your blog dear and other similar blogs are my only place where I feel
normal and I feel that I am not alone.

As for the In Egypt It looks like I am the only one who caught the disease.

Why do you think hairy females are not considered beautiful in mainstream culture?
Are u kidding me!! Chubby females are not considered beautiful, but
hairy!!! It’s a cruel culture where different is ugly.

They expect females to be nothing less than a pretty, tender and
flawless doll. It’s so unfair.

What do you want to say to other hairy women out there? What do you wish someone would say to you?

I am sorry for your pain, I wish I could comfort each one of you. I
wish I could comfort myself constantly. I know that some people are
cruel just like the mirrors we look into every day, but others are
loving and understanding. Since when being a woman is an easy thing?
Even for ordinary females. You are beautiful. No matter how many days we wake up think that we are not. WE ARE BEAUTIFUL AND NOTHING CAN TAKE AWAY THE BEAUTY OF OUR HEARTS.

Last comments?
Two things I find soothing in this entire thing and I wish you will
find comfort in them too; God and the fact that I would never judge
people for how they look even before that thing starts happening to
me. I have not and will not see different as ugly. So I don’t feel
like a hypocrite for wanting the same thing for myself.

Edited slightly on 3/6/14 at interviewee’s request.

If you would like to participate in written interviews, please contact me at carly.pinkrazor@gmail.com

“Just Watch, Wax, and Pray”: Maria’s Interview

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Man.

We moved over the weekend and adopted a dog (pictures to come when I can find my camera…). I underestimated how crazy that would be!

Anyway, things are still in boxes and varying states of disarray, but it’s coming along. And in the midst of the whirlwind of transition and newness, I’ve got a great written interview for you.

This one is from Maria, a 22-year-old student and former model from Italy. I really enjoyed reading this, and I hope you will too.

When did you first discover you had facial hair?
I never had facial hair. Everything started when I come off the pill after 5 years, in January. I remember I was in the train station, waiting for my train. I was in a shop and there was a mirror. I checked out my make up and I saw sideburns. I laughed, maybe it was the wrong light? They weren’t really bad, they were almost invisible. Now I have hair on my sideburn, my cheecks, my neck…but the worst part is my chin. I also have a terrible situation on my body.

How did you react?
It’s not easy to explain in a language that is not mine. I sat in front of the mirror and I watched my body change. Hair on my stomach, hair on my back. Hair on my chest, hair on my chin. Hair everywhere. And everyday is getting worse and worse and there’s NOTHING you can do about it. Just watch, wax and pray.

What is the cause of your hair?
Since it is a recent thing, I don’t know for sure. My gynecologist and dermatologist told me that it’s probably PCOS because I also have irregular period. But I did the blood test and everything is ok. On monday I have an ovarian ultrasound.

How has it affected your life, other than the hair?
I am healty and perfect, let alone the hair. Remember, I was a model. I’m skinny, no acne, no visible defects. I run everyday, I do marathons…my body is perfect and I love the fact that I can do everything with it. But it’s covered by hair, now.

What have your medical experiences been like?
My dermatologist told me that i have to take care of my hormones before having laser done. When she told me this, i wanted to punch her hairless face. But in my heart i know she’s right.

How have your family and friends reacted to the hair, if they know?
It’s impossible NOT TO KNOW. I think I cry like, uhm, 2 hours per day? I also had to quit my job as a model and photomodel. And, suddenly, I started to dress like a nun. What can I say? They HATE my hair because they’re ruining my life…I have to say BECAUSE I LET THEM to do this. I let my hair ruin my life and so my family stares at me, helpless, while I go insane at the mirror and I cry all my tears out. I think the hair are ruining their life too.

My dearest friends know. I try to “humanize” my problem talking about it like I talk about a bad cold…it’s like having, I don’t know, diabetes. It’s not my fault, it’s an hormonal disease and there’s nothing I can do about it. They always tell me that I’m beautiful, hair or not. But it’s not easy to trust it.

My boyfriend doesn’t know. We are in a long distance relationship and he felt in love with the hairless me. Until now, I’ve tried to hide the issue. But this weekend I’ll tell him everything. I love him and he deserves to know. And if he runs away, it’s HIS problem, not my problem. I’m fucking special.

How do you make sense of the hair? What does it mean for you?
I’m trying to stay positive. “It’s only hair. Only hair. Only hair. You are the same funny and lovely Maria.” But I live the hair like a curse. “Why me?”

What fears, if any, have you had or currently have about the hair?
Not to be myself. I’m a very funny, sunny, outgoing person. I have a lot of friend and they always tell me that I’m special. But now…It’s not easy to be the center of attention. I don’t want the people stare at me. I just want…I just want them NOT TO NOTICE. There are mornings when I just don’t want to wake up and go out. I just want to hide myself. I am afraid that people will notice that there’s something different in me: HAIR. I don’t want to be defined by hair. I just want to be ME. My biggest fear is that the people will see only THE HAIR. Judge me only for this. Isolate me only for this. Don’t love me only for this. We live in a society where the OUTSIDE is EVERYTHING. And I’m afraid that my hairy outside will make the people not willing of discovering my inside.

How do you remove it?
Like I said, I’m new to this thing. I bleach and pluck my chin like mad. But i know that is not working. Every morning I put a razor in my hand…but I’m too afraid to do this. I don’t know why, but I see shaving like a defeat. Such a stupid thing, I know. For the rest of my body, I wax and bleach.

What has happened when you have removed? What methods have worked, and what has not?
Bleaching only makes the problem less visible, but the hair is still there and you can touch and see it. What a horrible thing. I’m planning to try electrolysis on my face and laser on my body after the summer. If I have the money, of course.

If you do not remove, how did you come to that decision?
I think I could NEVER to that. I HAVE to remove.

Have you ever been made fun of for it?
No, never. Sometimes I see that the eyes of the people I’m talking to go down to my chin. But no one ever told me something.

What have your dating/romantic experiences been like?
I have had tons of boyfriend and sexy affairs. But this is BEFORE the hair. Now I’m in a long distance relationship…and in my heart I know that he cannot accept it. He’s very obsessed about hair, skin, body, beauty…this weekend is the point of non return. We’ll se. To be truth, I don’t know HOW my life will be. Will my problem improve? I don’t think so. Will my problem get worse? I think so. I’m great. I have to say it. I’m great. But I’m hairy. If I don’t wax, I’m like an hairy man. Not kidding. Who, in this world, will ever want a creepy hairy woman?

What kinds of thoughts come into your mind when you think about the hair?
I think: “WHY?”. I hate them. I hate them because they are ruining my life, I hate them because I’m not strong enough to don’t let them ruin my life. I hate them because I remember HOW HAPPY I was this december, before everything started. And how miserable I am now. And the only thing that changed is my hair.

How does it impact your self-esteem?
Self-esteem? What is that? Just to give you an example, everytimes my boyfriend tell me than he loves me, I think: “of course you love me, you don’t have seen yet the new hairy me. I don’t deserve your love cause i’m a freak of nature.”

Are there any positive aspects or benefits of the hair?
The positive thing is that people who stay with you are people who really love you. Really love your SOUL, not your body.

If you were to grow it, would you prefer that people ask about it, or ignore it? I would just want them to ignore it. Sometimes I hope that the hair are only in my mind. Maybe I exaggerate the problem. But then I look in the mirror, and I know that the hair are there. Little bastards.

Do you have a community of other hairy females? If so, where do you find them? I follow this blog and All Kinds of Fur blog. It really helps me.

Why do you think hairy females are not considered beautiful in mainstream culture?
Because being an hairy woman is really uncommon. Being hairy like me, at least. It’s like…being wrong.

What do you want to say to other hairy women out there? What do you wish someone would say to you?
Be strong. Don’t let the hair ruin your life. Ok, maybe you’re not like you want to be. You’re not smooth. But you are alive. You breath, you run, you smile, you eat, you kiss, you hug, you love, you cry, YOU LIVE. Like everyone else. Maybe people will judge you. Maybe your life will be a little harder. Maybe some stupid jerks will tease you. Maybe you will struggle to find a man that can actually accept you. MAYBE. But remember, you have the CHANCE, the POSSIBILITY to do this. Don’t hide yourself, don’t waste your only life. LIVE and try, with all your hairy heart, to be happy. Because you deserve it. Happyness comes in many form and many ways.

Last comments?
In Italy we say: “Non è bello ciò che è bello ma è bello ciò che piace”. Which means that it’s not beautiful what IS BEAUTIFUL, but it’s beautiful what YOU LOVE. So, my dear hirsute friends…be yourself and let the people love you.

Thank you, Maria, for your insightful, open, and honest answers. Please keep us posted about your situation!

If you would like to participate in written interviews, please contact me at carly.pinkrazor@gmail.com.

Kim’s Interview

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Well hello!

This interview comes from Kim, a 35-year-old teacher aide from Cincinatti, Ohio in the U.S.

When did you first discover you had facial hair?
I noticed peach fuzz when I was about 7 or 8. The fuzz got darker in jr. high school. The hair got thicker in college.

How did you react?
I was scared and nervous. I was not sure how people would react. Then being me, I instantly started to look for solutions to get rid of the hair.

What is the cause of your hair?.
Right now the cause is unknown. My doctor originally thought that I had PCOS, but all the blood work and tests spoke to the contrary. I think it is hereditary.

What have your medical experiences been like? How has it affected your life, other than the hair?
I had doctor say to me that if I lost weight the hair would go away, simple as that. I found that to be absurd because you see plenty of slender or average size women with facial hair problems and you also see overweight women who do not have facial hair. I don’t believe that being overweight leads to facial hair.

How have your family and friends reacted to the hair, if they know?
My family does not say anything. They have seen me with the facial hair. They have seen me during the removal process. So to my family the facial hair is nothing. My friends ignore it. They know it is there but they do not talk about it. I think they do not talk about it because they do not want to embarrass me or make me feel uncomfortable. I appreciate their concern.

How do you make sense of the hair? What does it mean for you?
Part of me thinks this is just something that God has placed upon me to deal with. Another part of me has a hard time making sense of it. I often ask, “Why me?” I see the hair a cross I have to bear in life.

What fears if any, have you had or currently have about the hair?
My fear is that I will be judged unfairly because of my hair. That people will assume things about me because of their own preconceived notions about women with facial hair. I often wonder will my facial hair keep me from getting jobs or meeting a nice man who does not have a female facial hair fetish.

Have you in the past, or do you currently, remove it? How?
My goodness…I think I have tried every product outside of laser treatment and electrolysis

What has happened when you have removed? What methods have worked, and what has not?
Waxing does not work; tweezing is painful and takes a long time. The cream hair remover seems to work best for me. A lot of products have left me with scars, ingrown hairs, rashes, you name it. Currently, I use a hair remover. Simple and basic. I usually remove it once a week, more if I have a special occasion or something.

If you do not remove, how did you come to that decision? What has it been like for you?

Usually when I am in a lazy mood, I do not remove the hair. Part of it has been liberating to not worry about the constant grooming. Then it becomes a pain because it gets itchy and starts to get bumps.

Have you ever been made fun of for it?

If I have, no one has ever said it to my face. I have gotten stares or the double take, so I am sure people are saying something about me.

What have your dating/romantic experiences been like?
I have had several long term relationships. None of my past boyfriends said anything about the hair. I figure either they accepted the hair or ignored it. One ex had a lady beard fetish. He would never admit to it, but he was always a bit too excited about my facial hair.

What kinds of thoughts come into your mind when you think about the hair?

Why do I have to have facial hair? I wish I could make all of this hair vanish.

How does it impact your self-esteem, if at all?
I have days where I do not feel pretty because the hair is always there in some form. Even if I remove the hair, it is never fully gone. There are stray hairs, dark spots, bumps, always something.

Are there any positive aspects or benefits of the hair?
It lets me know who my true friends are. The world is full of superficial people and I am glad to know that people will stay with me regardless of the facial hair.

If you grow it (don’t remove), do you prefer that people ask about it, or ignore it? What have your experiences been with interested parties?
Just ignore it. At the end of the day it is just hair. I understand that in our society, facial hair on women is not seen as acceptable because facial hair is a masculine characteristic. But it is just hair. I am sure that most women with facial hair, if they could would get rid of it. The hair does not change these women’s personalities. The facial hair does not define these women.

Do you have a community of other hairy females? If so, where do you find them?
No, I deal with this hair alone.

Why do you think hairy females are not considered beautiful in mainstream culture?
In our culture, facial hair is a masculine trait and women are supposed to be feminine. So a woman must exude femininity to be considered beautiful and if she has facial hair, that takes away from her feminine wiles. Society has all sorts of preconceived notions about women with facial hair. They question her sexuality, her morals, her hygiene, and her health…all sorts of things. It’s ridiculous and sexist. No one questions a man who has no facial hair.

What do you want to say to other hairy women out there? What do you wish someone would say to you?
I would say to other women, do not let your facial hair define you. You do not have to hide away from the world and you don’t have to a side show attraction for the world. Just live your life and those who deserve to be in your world, will show themselves worthy.

Last comments?
I just really want other women to know. Do not let your hair hold your life prisoner. You are more than facial hair. Live your life accordingly.

Well said, Kim. Thank you so much for your words and your candor. I really appreciate the time you put into this! I also want to note that at the end of Kim’s email, there was a quote by Victor Hugo (I almost typed “Victor Huge” there…): “What a grand thing to be loved! What grander thing still, to love!” I like that. I think we can apply that to ourselves.

If you would like to participate in written interviews, please contact me at carly.pinkrazor@gmail.com.

Alice’s Interview

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Remember how I said that WordPress shows me which countries readers are from? In the last week, there have been readers from Japan, Estonia, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the usual awesome readers from places I have already mentioned. Just want to say hello to you guys! I appreciate you being here!

Below you will find a written interview with Alice, one of the readers here. She is 22 years old and is a student in Gloucester, England. I’m so grateful to her for being brutally honest about how she feels, and for sharing her story with us. It seems to me that there are so many women out there who will be able to relate to her story.

When did you first discover you had facial hair?

I first realised that I had excessive hair when my friends little boy asked me why I had a beard. I was 16yrs old and had long blonde hair curling under my chin.

How did you react?
I went out and bought hair removal cream, and that is where my gross obsession with getting rid of hair started.

What is the cause of your hair?
I do have PCOS and I’m overweight which doesn’t help.

What have your medical experiences been like? How has it affected your life, other than the hair?
I’ve had mixed help. When I was in Scotland I almost received laser hair removal on the NHS but unfortunately moved away before they could help and because of my weight I’m unable to take the pill. So haven’t had any help since then. I did pay for laser treatment myself for my chest but it was unsuccessful and a waste of money.

How have your family and friends reacted to the hair, if they know?

My Grandmother has been incredibly supportive. My mother has her moments and my dad really doesn’t understand it. My friends don’t judge and my boyfriend knows but we never really talk about it.

How do you make sense of the hair? What does it mean for you?
It means misery.

What fears, if any, have you had or currently have about the hair?
That someone will notice. That people will think I’m a freak. I constantly worry I’ve missed a patch. I worry that I’ve settled for a guy just because he doesn’t care so much about my hair and that I’ll never really find love.

How do you remove it?
I shave but I can’t always afford new razors and end up with a rash and then I’m terrified of going outside.

What methods have worked, and what has not?
Shaving removes it visually but you can still feel the stubble and I never go in the sun, I always make sure my face is in the shade.

What have your dating/romantic experiences been like?

Not great in all honesty. I’ve never been in a relationship I’ve been that happy in but I’m not sure if that’s the hair or my low self esteem.

What kinds of thoughts come into your mind when you think about the hair?
It almost brings me to tears whenever I think about it.

How does it impact your self-esteem?
It’s shattered it.

Are there any positive aspects or benefits of the hair?

I don’t believe there is.

Why do you think hairy females are not considered beautiful in mainstream culture?
The feel of soft skin is so nice and the look of smooth skin is so beautiful. I don’t like the look of beards. Even on men so why should I feel that someone should like it on me.

What do you want to say to other hairy women out there? What do you wish someone would say to you?
If you have any tips, I’m happy to hear them. But seriously, if you have what it takes to not shave and do what you want then I congratulate you, I would be so much happier a person if it wasn’t for this hair. There would so many more things I would do. I would have so much confidence. I just wish there was a miracle cure.

Last comments?
I wish I was able to get on with my life but I really don’t know how to.

If you would like to participate in written interviews, please contact me at carly.pinkrazor@gmail.com.