Recent movie and TV releases such as The Greatest Showman and American Horror Story have introduced the idea of the bearded woman as a circus commodity. The reality, though, is that hirsutism, a condition where someone born biologically female experiences a facial and bodily hair growth parallel to that of a male, is simply a hormonal imbalance and can be a symptom of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Whether a woman’s hirsutism is caused by a simple hormonal imbalance or from PCOS, it is a condition that has been historically shamed. Countless commercials and advertisements showcase a clean-shaven woman as "desirable," continuing to promote the negative connotations which have led many people into shaving, waxing, or even getting laser hair removal treatments, even if they don’t really want to do any of those things. Recently though, some females with hirsutism have been embracing their facial and body hair.
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Follow a few influencers who are redefining body hair expectations. Start with the girl showcased in our cover photo, Harnaam Kaur.
What parts of your body do you shave? Do you shave because you actually want
to or because you’re too scared not to?
Call out advertisers who showcase hair as something that has to be removed. Champion brands like Billie who preach that the removal of body hair should be up to the individual.