Real Life

Grow with it: I’m a bearded lady!

Rose Geil has learned to love her hair

Getting rid of body hair is a nuisance for many women, but for Rose Geil, the desire to have smooth skin has been an obsession since she was 13, when whiskers started growing on her chin, upper lip and cheeks.

Since then, she’s shaved, waxed, plucked and even resorted to painful laser removal to keep the stubble at bay. But now the 39-year-old, from the US, has ditched her razors and grown a full beard – and she’s never felt sexier!

“It’s certainly made me more confident,” says Rose, who also sports thick hair on her arms and chest. “I feel pretty with my beard and I never felt pretty before. It feels amazing.”

Watch Rose talking about her decision to grow out her beard – story continues after the video

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When Rose was a high school student, she would wake at the crack of dawn each day to remove her excess facial hair. Rose recalls, “I hid it very well, but it was exhausting. I didn’t realise the emotional impact until I was older.”

Rose’s mother took her to a doctor who prescribed birth-control pills and other medication, but nothing worked. She now believes her hairiness is caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, but this hasn’t been diagnosed.

Before her brave decision, Rose shaved daily to hide her hair.

Although Rose has found it scary revealing the extent of her fuzziness in relationships, she’s nevertheless had “very understanding partners”.

Her biggest hurdle to love, she insists, is herself. “It was more of an issue for me just being self-conscious,” she tells.

Rose began to dread shaving her body hair and there were days when she refused to leave her house. But last year, she gave up hair removal for good, explaining, “I was emotionally drained from trying to hide my beard every day.”

She confesses, “Growing out my beard was very difficult, emotionally and physically, because it was so itchy. I had to fight the urge to shave.” But after six weeks, Rose sported a full beard – and she loves it.

“People on the street do look at me, but their reactions are often positive,” she tells. “They want to shake my hand and tell me I’m brave, courageous and an inspiration.”

But the strongest reaction is online, where Rose’s Instagram account has found hundreds of admirers. She smiles, “Some of them get a little carried away with marriage proposals and inappropriate pictures, but it’s nice to make people feel good.”

Wearing a top that shows off her hairy cleavage, she adds, “I definitely feel womanly, sexy and sensuous. I feel more feminine and it has little to do with my appearance – it comes from giving myself the freedom to be who I am.”

Self-concious Rose before she threw out her razors.

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