A Californian woman vows to never shave after embracing her facial hair. LaRae Perkins suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which has caused her to grow a beard. She has decided to proudly own it in response to her haters.
Woman Vows To Never Shave Beard In Response To Trolls
A bearded woman is embracing her facial hair after spending years being the target of trolls – and vows to never shave.
She suffers from a hormonal disorder which results in her growing facial hair, so she decided to embrace her beard after she claimed shaving and waxing was 'destroying' her face.
LaRae Perkins, 40, from California, US, was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) at the age of 12. It resulted in irregular periods and an excess of androgen (AKA 'male' hormones).
Her condition did not make growing up easy, as people would often question if LaRae was a man or a woman, asking her things like, 'What are you?'
However, LaRae never let negative haters get her down, and instead, she used the cruel comments as fuel to make her stronger. She has learned to love her hirsutism – the excessive hair growth on women.
Now, she represents bearded women with positivity and power, teaching them to embrace what makes them unique by launching her very own clothing brand with the slogan, 'Yes, I'm a girl.'
She explained: "I have embraced my hirsutism by learning to love myself despite what others may think or have comments about and I want to lead by example for others.
"I would be a hypocrite if I had not learned to love myself first."
Though, she recalled feeling 'alone, embarrassed, ashamed, different, discouraged, confused, and emotional,' after her diagnosis.
'I began experiencing PCOS symptoms around puberty at the age of 12, but I had hair on my face my whole life,' said LaRae.
'I had thick sideburns that connected to the back of my hair line at a younger age.
'The only thing mentioned at the time was that I had a higher percentage of male hormones known as androgen than most women. All women have androgen.
'[When I started having] irregular menstrual cycles, that is how [I was diagnosed], my body was struggling to start a period. I had to be put on birth control pills to regulate it.'
However, LaRae does not 'treat' her PCOS or tend to her hirsutism as she does not "agree" with treatments offered to her.
The fashion designer said: "Treatments include laser hair removal, waxing, and shaving. I love my face and skin too much to destroy it or cause more issues by trying to remove something that will never go away and I have no control over.
'I will never shave because I love my face and don't want to cause more issues than just having a beard, my appearance is important to me and having skin that has dark marks, pigmentation, or even razor bumps would make me sad and feel less beautiful.'
She is now speaking out in attempt to help others feel less alone.
"I took the chance by standing out and using my voice to bring awareness and respect to all women with facial hair.
'The feedback that I receive has been positive and negative, I only focus on the positive and use the negative as fuel to continue influencing and educating people,' she stated.
'Nothing hurts more than being asked, "What are you?" I had to grow a tough skin over the years, causing me to make myself choose happiness over ignorance.
'I had to begin loving the person I see in the mirror, telling her she is beautiful everyday and it doesn't matter what clothes I choose to wear. I'm still that beautiful being I'm looking at.
'The most appreciative comments I have received come from my family and friends along with some of my followers.
'My favorite compliment is, "You should be a motivational speaker," and who knows, maybe someday I will be.
'The internet can be cruel but I am hoping my journey inspires other to embrace who they are.
LaRaes family has helped her through difficult times; she has a wife - who suffers from multiple sclerosis and lupus - and a daughter to lean on if she ever needs any encouragement.
'Do your homework on the condition, get tested, and ask yourself who you love and care more about, yourself or society's judgement on who you are,' urged LaRae.
'Self esteem and confidence are a must to get past what the world defines as normal.
'We "bearded women" are not normal but we are human. You must love yourself, flaws and all, to be respected or you will just be a person hiding and trying to fit in this non perfect world.
'I took the chance by standing out and using my voice to bring awareness and respect to all women with facial hair.
'It has been the greatest journey and I am so glad I did it and if because of me even one woman feels she can embrace her natural self then I will have something to be proud of, it will have been worth it.'