Different is good!
I don't shave my face; however, I do have it professionally lasered, waxed, pulled, plucked and threaded. To help maintain my hairless state, I always have expensive tweezers nearby if it's been awhile since my last waxing appointment.
It doesn't matter how vigilant I am — there's always a stray hair that I'll notice after I've come home from the party or a show. The amount of time, money and energy that goes into my hair removal is ridiculous, and frankly, I don't even hair a serious condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can cause excess hair growth.
Rose Geil, 39, does have polycystic ovarian syndrome, and since her diagnosis at age 13, she's had so much facial hair that she was forced to shave her face daily when medication didn't help control her symptoms.
If you do the math, you'll see that she spent approximately 25 years putting a sharp blade to her skin. Finally, last year, she couldn't take the pain of tearing up her face every single day (and probably more) and made a decision to stop shaving.
Now, she's a woman with a beard and she couldn't be happier.
"My full personality was never present. Instead of facing ridicule, I hid. I didn't participate fully in school as a young child — even going to class on a regular basis was difficult for me," she told the hosts. "I was wearing things with high necks and long sleeves to hide my issue."
Instead of getting slammed by the internet trolls, Rose has been supported and she credits social media for helping her to throw away the razor and let her personality "shine through." Once she started sharing pictures of herself on Facebook and other social media outlets, she found her community almost immediately.
"Even before I let my beard grow, I was following certain accounts that were run by bearded women or just people in general who didn't conform to a conventional look, or gender roles, even," Rose says. "Inspiration is there, it's a beautiful thing."
All photos: Facebook/Rose Geil
Being different and not conforming to society's beauty ideals is incredibly brave. Our differences should be celebrated, and it's heartwarming to know that people are supporting Rose and cheering her on. She needs to do whatever she can to feel comfortable and good about herself. Rose Geil is a happily bearded lady.
I'm not ready to throw down my tweezers yet, but I'll wave them in solidarity with the women who are over the constant battle with their body and facial hair.
For more about Rose's story, here's the video of her appearance on This Morning.