A woman with PCOS has decided to stop trying to remove the excess body hair caused by the condition and instead let her full beard grow with pride. Alma Torres, who lives in New York City, was 15 when she began experiencing the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome, but it wasn’t until she was 18 that she received an official diagnosis. After spending the next several years fighting in vain to continually remove the facial hair that grew like crazy. Now, she’s rocking a beard and looks amazing!
- PCOS causes a whole host of unpleasant symptoms. Including the excess body hair growth, PCOS can also cause weight gain, thinning head hair, oily skin, difficulty getting pregnant, irregular periods, and more. It’s an unpleasant condition that doesn’t have any direct cure or treatment other than lifestyle changes.
- Alma used to be teased for her hirsutism. The dark facial hair she grew caused her classmates to make fun of her and it really got to her. “I had never really noticed how people would make fun of my facial hair until a guidance counselor at school asked me if it bothered me – and suddenly I realized how many people would stare and whisper,” the now-27-year-old recalled. “That changed everything for me. I shaved for the first time when I was 16, before my eighth-grade prom, and I continued to try to get rid of the hair for the next eight years.”
- She was really depressed when she got her diagnosis. Knowing that she might not ever be able to have kids (or that it would be more difficult) made her feel “very depressed.” On top of that, she was constantly battling to bleach and shave the excess hair.
- Eventually, she decided to try a bit of self-acceptance. “When I was about 19, about a year after my diagnosis, I became an advocate for myself, because I had to. I really struggled to start with, and every time I would try to grow my beard out I would end up running to shave it off after a few days,” Alma said. One thing that helped her was discovering Harnaam Kaur, another woman with PCOS who happily shows off her beard. Suddenly, everything made sense.
- When she turned 23, she decided to grow out her beard. While it was very difficult at first to deal with people who would stare and make comments about her facial hair, now she’s so used to it, it doesn’t phase her at all. “At first, people would make cruel comments and it would really bring me down. I’d get very self-conscious when I would catch people taking pictures of me while they thought I wasn’t looking,” Alma explained. “Now, I still get people taking pictures when I’m out and about, but it doesn’t bother me at all. I just turn and stare at them so they know I can see what they’re doing and that I don’t care what they think of me. Now, I’m more confident with my beard than I ever was without. Learning to accept my beard has been, without a doubt, the best thing I’ve ever done.”
You go, Alma – you look amazing!
View this post on Instagram
The way my beard glows and you can see all the blonde. What most don’t know is that my beard is not just one color… it literally has like 4-5 colors in it & I love it. My sideburns are red, in this picture on the left you can see a really tiny light blonde spot close to my earring, then of course brown and oh wait one white strand lol and then mostly blonde on the bottom and some parts black. I sit in front of the mirror and just keep checking which color is there more of. I love that I’m able to embrace something that I once hated and just admire her now. It’s been a long journey but I don’t think I would’ve had it any other way. My new favorite 💚 #StayBeautiful #StayPositive #Effyourbeautystandards #BeYOU! #StruggleIsApartOfTheStory #PcosAwarenessInSeptember #Hirsutism #WeAre1in10 #SpreadAwareness #HarnaamKaurInspired #BEinyourskin #BeardedWoman #FacialHair #PCOSStruggles #ExcessHairGrowth #TealIsABigDeal #Cysters #ThisTooShallPass #BeardedLady #FindingMyself #Courage #Bravery #Warrior #IAmMe #ILoveMe #beardedbbw #Onlyoneyou #FreeSpirit #BeardedBeauty