Do you want to know a secret?…

I have a secret. It could be argued that keeping this secret makes me a bit of a hypocrite. For all my body positivity, there is one thing about myself that I cannot learn to love; my facial hair. 

Until about I was about 30, I wasn’t a very hairy person at all. My body hair was all fair & fine. As such it wasn’t something that I gave much thought to. To begin with I had a little bit of fine hair on my neck, which I put down to getting a bit older. The hair quickly progressed to my chin, then to my upper lip. I started waxing it & so began my facial hair war. 

As the hair got thicker I consulted my gp (as a person who had crazy periods, sometimes 1 a year, sometimes lasting 6wks) PCOS should have been any easy diagnosis. In actual fact it took 6yrs to convince a dr to even investigate. Blood tests revealed increased hormone levels & that was that. I was prescribed medication to regulate my periods, which thankfully worked. The beard, however, remains. I’m too pale & fair for laser removal and nothing else really does the job. The hair continues to get worse. I’ve tried waxing, hair removal cream & even a No!No!; none of which keep my face smooth for more than a day or two.

I can love my fat & my scars. I don’t even care what others thinks about my often hairy legs. I feel no compulsion to remove my pubic hair other than when I feel like it. I don’t wear make up daily & my hair is most often to be found in a very messy bun. I have skin tags & moles & birthmarks that it has never even occurred to me to feel self conscious about. I am almost entirely impervious to societal demands upon my body. Expect it seems when it comes to my increasingly hairy face. 

A hairy face appears to be my line in the self love sand. I cannot get past the notion that it renders me repugnantly unwomanly. As I write those words I know how stupid & misogynstic & backwards they are. Yet, none of my strident feminist views prevent me from being utterly ashamed of my stubbly chin. 

The fact that I have internalised this patriarchal bullshit makes me so angry. I know I don’t have to measure up to some nonsensical notion of femininity, but part of me still wants to. I hate that. I hate how much energy I waste on getting rid of this hair. I hate that despite my best efforts I have bought into such a narrow definition of what being a woman is. 

Maybe part of this is the same as any other stigma, no one talks about it. Well, not outside hushed, unhappy tones with our closest ones. Or whispered exchanges with professionals who might rid us of the dreaded hair. I know other women who have PCOS, but none of them have visible facial hair & I’ve never asked. Are they too constantly removing fuzz? I wouldn’t know because I’m not sure if talking about it would be rude or even out right offensive. So, I just carry on feeling like the only person who could have a side job in Victorian freak show. 

Until now. I’ve decided to come clean. Yup, I have a beard. I may not ever be ready to let the world see it, but at least I can start talking about it. It’s just hair, right? Fuck it. Girls can be furry too. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone might even have a good tip on how to get rid of it! 

13 thoughts on “Do you want to know a secret?…

  1. So much of this post could have been written by me – I have PCOS related excess hair too, and, whilst I’ve always had a bit of a moustache, I’ve also started growing a neck beard and chin stubble too. I get my face threaded or waxed usually, but I’m always so self-conscious about it growing back. I feel like I shouldn’t have a problem with it because women have had facial hair since forever, but I just don’t feel like I can fight that battle right not. I would recommend looking up Harnaam Kaur though, she’s stunning and has a beard because of her PCOS and totally owns it! (I talk about Harnaam Kaur and facial hair in one of my blog posts too)

    Thank you for writing this, it really does help to hear other voices discussing this! xxx


  2. Oh my god my sentiments exactly.
    I totally know how you feel I am constantly battling with my pcos beard and moustache in fact I think I’m growing a bloody Maine!!!!

    Thank you for sharing and being so honest, it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    I now embrace the hair 😂


      1. You are not. I once had a woman come to my house to do threading, I never had her back after the embarrassment of her threading my whole neck – I’m talking right down to collar bone I was so hairy! Bloody mortified!!


  3. Yes! I know so much these feels. I have fair hair but a very ‘furry’ face, and it is one of the things I worry about. I’ve had laser hair removal on my moustache area, it mostly worked as the hair was darker there but I still get some. I’ll be totally honest, I shave the bits of tash that I still get in with a normal face razor!


  4. i’ve never noticed! that is such bullshit that it took 6 years to diagnosis – it’s so obvious with those two symptoms! ugh. sorry for you and sorry it’s something you worry about worrying about – i don’t blame you, a lot of things are becoming more “acceptable” nowadays, but facial hair on women is still a long ways away, i fear. good luck with coming to peace with it!


  5. My Italian genes mean I have been plagued with visible facial hair for most of my life. I used to get bullied terribly at school for my moustache, so I used bleaches and depilatory creams religiously as a teenager. It seems to have faded a bit with age which, combined with me stopping caring what other people think of me, means I don’t bother much with it these days – though I bet, if somebody drew attention to it, all those old feels would come rushing back. Incidentally I once had a lip wax for lols at my favourite Benefit beauty counter and it was the worst pain I have ever experienced.

    Tell you what does bother me though? My chin pube. It’s a thick, dark hair, the consistency of pubic hair, which grows out of the same place in my chin no matter how often I pluck it. You’ll probably never see it, because the second it’s long enough for me to get a grip on it’s gone again. There is nothing more satisfying than yanking out that little bugger.

    Lis / last year’s girl x


    1. Oh no, I’m so sorry you had such crap at school. That is the worst. I am however happy that you aren’t so worried about it now & for the record I’ve never noticed!
      I get you on the weird solitary wiry ones. I have one of those on the side of my face. I too love plucking that bugger. Xx


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