After years of shaving, a woman has turned the excess body hair triggered by her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) into inspiration for a beauty vlog.
Nova Galaxia’s Bearded Babe YouTube channel features makeup and glitter beard tutorials from the perspective of — in her words — a “simple bearded lady new to the #beardlife.”
In a recent essay for Graceless, Galaxia, 26, opened up about her decision in the fall of 2017 to stop shaving.
“After 14 years of shaving every single day, avoiding sleepovers as a teen, panicking if I forgot my razor when I went out of town, dreading if I ever ended up in the hospital where I’d be unable to shave, and not allowing my partner to touch my face, I put the razor down,” she wrote.
“Jump forward two and a half months, and here I am, fully bearded, at least two inches of growth. Hair all over my chest, breasts, and stomach. I went from living a daily nightmare to being incredibly in love with my hair in just that short amount of time. I no longer recoil in fear when my partner reaches out to touch my cheek. My confidence has spiked, and with it came some much-needed self-love.”
Since then, Galaxia has been using her YouTube platform to raise awareness and offer support to other women affected by PCOS. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, PCOS affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age and can result in hormonal imbalances, acne, weight gain, infertility, and, as with Galaxia, hirsutism.
Those with PCOS-related excessive body hair continue to experience shame and social awkwardness. In a new interview with Metro, Galaxia, who is a cisgender female, said she is often mistaken for a man or trans woman.
“People have accused me of pretending to be a woman, or they think I’m transgender, but I don’t care,” she told the paper. “It’s not an insult to be trans, I’m just not — I’m a gay woman.”
She credited her partner Ash for helping her feel more confident about her bearded look.
“With my hipster beard, I feel happier now than I have ever been,” Galaxia said. “I am with someone I love, who supports my decision and loves me for me and my beard. I have no idea when I am going to stop growing it. It’s a part of me now, and I love it.”
Read more on Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Cardi B Is Being Shamed for Her Stomach Hair and It’s Not OK
- Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon flaunts her armpit hair (again)
- Three women get real about facial hair — and being ‘proud of it’