Women and hair is a touchy subject. As I’ve said in the past, I think women are unfairly critiqued for ours and seen as “unfeminine” when, as a matter of fact, our entire body grows hair, too. I admittedly wax my brows and lip, but I think it’s silly to think that all women should do so. And as a matter of fact, Siobhain Fletcher of Leek, Staffordshire feels the same–and shows it proudly.
Fletcher, 36, has polycystic ovary syndrome which causes her to have an imbalance of female sex hormones. Because of her condition, she has irregular periods (“I thought that was a bonus!” said this awesome lady) and developed facial hair, which she has long removed by way of shaving, waxing and cream depilatories. Growing up, she had a difficult time with her PCOS:
“I had such low self-esteem… I used to clip it off with scissors, and dress very androgynously. I got stared at a lot and got mistaken for a man. It took its toll. Even though I was pretty, I didn’t feel like that.”
After learning about Movember–in which men don’t shave their facial hair for the month–many participants’ desire to raise awareness for prostate and other male cancers, Fletcher decided to participate in a way that most women are not able to: growing her own facial hair out.
“I pointed out that he had a bit of face fuzz, and asked about it. He told me about ‘Movember,’ and in a spur of the moment decision, I decided to grow mine,” said Fletcher. She says her motivation is ”to use my PCOS as a tool for raising awareness for Men’s cancers. If I get just one man to get checked out it will be worth it.”
Though some women have faced criticism for not shaving, Fletcher refuses to be shamed into not participating in No-Shave November, and hopes that other women with PCOS will feel less embarrassed about their own unique qualities. She also appears to have a great sense of humor, saying, “I was thinking about restarting in December, and I was going to grow it like the Jack Sparrow beard from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’”
To me, Fletcher is both brave and selfless–she’s not only raised £1,140 already, she’s also facing judgmental attitudes and rudeness for her condition in order to inspire others. Plus, she outright states that she finds herself pretty, which is something that is (sadly) very uncommon for women–especially ones who divert from “typical” beauty–to do. This, as well as her hilarity, make her a fantastic role model for anybody who’s ever dealt with image issues (and just about everyone else, too).
Photo: ABC News