After years of hiding her condition Rose Geil decided that enough was enough, especially as shaving the hair for so long was taking a real toll on her skin.
‘I was 13 the first time I started shaving. It was just my sideburns and I quickly realised I would have to shave every day.’
Although she has never been given a cause for her excess hair growth, Rose believes it is due to a combination of polycystic ovarian syndrome and genetics.
Her condition made it difficult for her to fit in with her friends during her teenage years. And this struggle sadly also had a knock-on effect on her school attendance and grades.
She admits, ‘the whole thing was exhausting trying to keep it hidden and removing it.’ In her desperation, Rose has tried everything to stop the growth, including plucking and laser removal, but nothing worked.
It was only after speaking to women in similar situations on social media that she finally gained the confidence needed to embrace her condition and grow her beard. And since doing so – she’s never felt happier, describing it as ‘an incredible experience.’
But Rose is the first to admit that it wasn’t easy, and she had to work really hard to resist the urge to shave in the early stages. And, despite her fears, people’s reactions to her have been mostly positive too. ‘The biggest issue is being called sir or man in public, but I have not been called names or questioned.’
‘I have had people approach me in public and just want to meet me, and shake my hand, and tell me they think I’m brave or courageous – or even inspirational’
Rose’s friends and family have been hugely supportive too – with her friend Megan even using Rose as ‘an inspiration’ and example to teach her young daughters about body positivity.
Now that she’s feeling so confident in herself, Rose feels that she’s ready to find love – and she’s not short of offers! So far she’s received offers of plane tickets and even proposals from men who are desperate to meet her! She’s not getting wrapped up in all the attention though, and just wants someone to love her for her.
‘It would be really nice to be with a beard lover, but ultimately I want someone who’s going to love me for me, beard or no beard’
‘Living with my beard and all of my body hair has become so normal that sometimes I forget, and that’s lovely’
‘It feels like a natural thing, it’s who I am. There’s no fighting it, there’s no changing it.’
What an inspirational lady!