What are your thoughts on beards? On a potential make-out partner, I have mixed feelings. I’ve lived in the beard forest that is Brooklyn for the past few years, and I must admit that I’ve come to admire a hipster beard or two.

 You want me to make out with what now?

Beards are totally fine in theory. In practice though, some beards have a highly unfortunate effect on my skin, as if they were constructed out of steel wool dipped in whatever the opposite of Noxema is. Attractive!

This is what your prickly beard feels like.

Whatever your feelings on beards for the menfolk, you might assume that it’s safe to say that beards have never been a good look for the ladies. Female facial hair is so taboo that waxing salons don’t even dare list it (at my salon, it appears that one would have to request, and pay separately for, waxing of one’s cheeks and “lower lip” instead of one convenient lady beard removal request). Merely having a few chin hairs could qualify as a life-long bearded lady career not so long ago in the circus’ “differently beautiful” section.

This girl’s got a lot of look going on.

But forget all that. I, like approximately 99% of women who would also admit it if you got them a couple shots of tequila, occasionally sprout a few unwanted hairs on my chinny-chin-chin. And sure, it’s no big deal to take care of them/make sure no one finds my tube of facial hair removal cream (it’s buried in a Fort Knox of feminine hygiene products).

But this column is here to remind you that everything you think gross is another culture’s shining beauty spot.

So guess what: lady beards are hot.

At least they’re hot when sported by lady saints. The Catholics have thought up a couple of bearded lady saints, most famously Saint Wilgefortis (also known as Saint Uncumber, which is totally not fair – not one but two awesome names!).

St. Wilgefortis, chillin’.

Europeans started worshipping Wilgefortis in the 14th century, after a legend arouse about how, back in late antiquity, a Portuguese princess converted to Christianity and promised God that she would remain a pure and chaste virgin. Unfortunately, her father had other plans, including arranging a marriage for Wilgefortis with the pagan king of Sicily. Wilgefortis prayed for a miracle that would allow her to keep her promise,

and God caused the miracle of facial hair. Overnight, she grew a luxuriant beard and mustache. Her father slapped on a thick veil and made prepare for marriage, but she let the veil slip and her fiancé was like “ummmmm no.”

See, beards are beautiful! In a kind of virgin for life, man repelling kind of way, but hey, man repelling is totally a fashion thing. 

Sadly for our heroine, her father was so angry that she disobeyed him about the whole arranged marriage/beard-hiding thing that he had her crucified. At least she got to be worshipped for a couple of centuries by women seeking to escape from arranged marriages or abusive husbands (although, presumably, through other means than miracle beard followed shortly by crucifixion).

Even more sadly, the Vatican was also all like “ummmmm no” when it officially declared in 1969 that Wilgefortis wasn’t a real saint and had, in fact, never existed. They claimed that her legend arouse when people were trying to explain images of a bearded Jesus with long hair and a long robe that looked like a dress.

But that’s way too logical. I prefer to think that virgin lady beards are beautiful. Next fashion trend in Williamsburg, you guys! Well, except maybe the virgin part.