Facial hair and body hair, while considered attractive for men, is often ridiculed in women.
Why else do woman spend hours of their time and hundreds of dollars tweezing and plucking any tiny stand of hair that escape their eyebrows, chins or upper lip, and waxing their legs and bikini areas.
“It looks like you don’t groom yourself if you have excessive hair,” Tanya says.
“I don’t know it’s just one of those beauty tips you grow up seeing your mom do tweeze her eyebrows and then you do it and it hurts so bad, that's how I first learnt the phrase that beauty is pain,” she told Tribune Woman.
“I remember being 12 when my best friend asked me why I didn’t shave my legs. She gave me a razor and some shaving gel and taught me. I don’t know why we did it, but I just did it cause all my friends did it and for some reason it was bad if we didn’t. We didn't know why it was bad to have hairy legs, but we just didn’t want to have 'badges'," Tammy told Tribune Woman.
However, for many women who may suffer from hormonal imbalances or other medical conditions, excessive facial hair can be more than just a minor inconvenience. It can be something that becomes a major part of who they are and getting rid of it can be more effort than it is worth.
Lately, there has been an increase in women who proudly wear full beards. Unibrows or showing off their body hair and they are turning the stereotypical fashion runways by storm.
Harnaam Kaur is a 27-year-old English model, Instagram celebrity and life coach. She suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which affects millions of women around the world. One of her symptoms is known as hirsutism, which is characterized by excessive facial hair growth.
Even though she grew up bullied, Harnaam has grown to embrace her unconventional appearance and has become a spokesperson for the body positivity movement.
She was the first bearded lady to walk in London’s fashion week.
In an interview with Rock N Roll Bride, Kaur reflects on her decision to keep her beard: "I decided to keep my beard and step forward against society’s expectations of what a woman should look like. Today I am not suicidal and I do not self-harm. Today I am happy living as a young beautiful bearded woman. I have realised that this body is mine, I own it, I do not have any other body to live in so I may as well love it unconditionally."
Eyebrows are another area women give lots of attention to.
“I never understand why women would shave their own eye brows to then draw these tiny pencil thin lines with eyebrow pencil, or why people feel that if you have thick eyebrows that means you don’t take the time to groom yourself, Latoya a 19-year-old Tribune Weekend.
“I do have bushy eyebrows that can be a unibrow if I leave them, but I love them I think they give my face a lil cuteness.
Novia Galaxia is an American suffer of PCS who has also decided that she will embrace rather than shave her beard and is a champion advocate for helping women accept and find beauty in their physical appearance
““Women shouldn’t have to shave if they choose not to, but what about those of us who have way more hair than what is considered socially acceptable?” Nova Galaxia wrote in a blog post. “What about us women with dark, thick tummy and chest hair? What about us women who are fully capable of growing a big, bushy beard?” She wrote in a blog post.”
So perhaps the next time you see that stray strand of hair- you may remember that beauty is sometimes a hair follicle deep and skip the shave.