Esther Calixte-bea, 24, Has Revealed She Feels Sexier Than Ever After Embracing Her Chest Hair.
On 18th February 2021
Esther Calixte-Bea, 24, from Montreal, Canada, was left deeply insecure and feeling suicidal as hair sprouted across her chest during her teenage years.
The artist said she ‘obsessively shaved’ during school and would be in ‘tremendous amounts of pain’ by her attempts to remove the hair.
'I come from the Wè tribe in Ivory Coast, Africa, and the women in my great grandmother's time were very hairy and it was seen as beautiful.'
In high school, I was very shy and insecure. I hated myself because not only was I too skinny compared to other girls my age, who were very curvy and desired by boys, I was also hairy. My mother use to make my sister and I stand in front of the mirror and repeat the phrases “I’m pretty, I’m smart and I’m beautiful” almost every day. She used to tell me that it would only work if I believed and said those words with confidence. Over time, I used her advice, it did help me love myself a little more but I had noticed that I wasn’t like other girls.
I had chest hair, and a lot of body hair. No matter what I did, whether it was waxing or shaving, they seemed to grow back longer, stronger and blacker than before. In university, I stopped trying to remove my chest hair and simply kept it hidden, lifting up my shirt if it was too low and using every precaution to make sure that no one would see it. It became exhausting and I realised how my body hair issues were affecting me mentally.
Excessive hair growth, or Hirsutism, is caused by an increase in hormones called androgens, your body being more sensitive to to the hormones, or sometimes both.
However in 2019, Esther decided ‘enough was enough’ and tossed out the razor, revealing: ‘It is the best thing I have ever done as I feel sexier and comfortable in my own skin.’
'Esther explained that throughout her younger years she felt the hair was a 'heavy burden. There is no medical explanation behind my hair - I am just a hairy person. I have recently learnt that the women on my father's side are quite hairy and it is perfectly normal.'
Esther revealed she has long struggled to embrace her body hair, explaining: 'It has taken me most of my life for me to accept my body and embrace who I am. I became fed up with feeling insecure and shy. It was tiring carrying around a heavy burden and hiding my hair from people.
'I was so depressed and even suicidal during my teens. I obsessively shaved in school to make sure nobody would see my hairy chest. I would freak out if just two hairs appeared. Shaving and waxing caused me tremendous amounts of pain. It was more hassle than it was worth.'
Esther began complimenting herself which instantly made her feel better but said the reaction to her choice has been mixed. It has been challenging as I am going against the "norm". I had to push myself at the start by walking out with short shorts with leg hair. After a few weeks, I began to feel comfortable.
'Fear tried to paralyse me. But I don't have to worry anymore as I have accepted who I am. Many people stare and turn their nose up, whilst others salute her for standing out from the crowd. When I am out, people stare a lot. Someone even filmed me once which was weird.'
However Esther has found a community on social media who have embraced her and her body hair, saying: 'Online, the reaction from others has been 90 per cent positive.
'I have received thousands of messages from women all over the globe who thought they were alone. I have shown them that facial and body hair is nothing to be ashamed of.'
Esther now feels she is no longer a slave to beauty standards and instead has begun to question what is truly beautiful.
She explained: 'If women weren't supposed to have hair, we wouldn't grow it. It is the society that tells us to shave. I have redefined beauty for myself and I no longer allow society to dictate it for me. I have decided what beautiful is for me.'
The artist also paints women with body hair in a bid to normalise it, saying: 'I paint beautiful pictures of women who have hairy bodies. I don't want hair to be an obstacle anymore. I refuse to victimise myself because of it.'