An Oregon woman who has grown a full beard says she has no problem getting men.
Rose Geil, 39, explains she began growing excessive facial and body hair at 13 due to polycystic ovarian syndrome, and that daily shaving became too irritating for her skin.
And now, with the help of social media and posting pictures of herself, Rose says that her true personality is now shining through.
“I was the person holding me back. Social media helped, I had lots of interest from men, which was not too surprising,” she says.
She added that she isn’t surprised she is getting attention, since “all kinds of people attracted to all kinds of things.”
Rose used to hide away in her house as a teenager, afraid that her peers would bully her. Hairs started growing in her sideburns when she reached puberty, then began appearing on her chin, upper lip and cheeks. She woke up every day with stubble on her face. Birth control and other medicines proved ineffective.
“My full personality was never present for fear of facing ridicule. I didn't participate, even going to class on a regular basis was hard,” she says. “I didn't participate in sports, get changed in the locker room, I skipped out on social activities. I’d always wear high-necked clothes and long sleeves to hide my issue.”
Rose then tried shaving, then laser therapy, but it was too expensive to keep getting treatments.
“First, there was a physical need, my skin was torn up and I couldn't handle putting a metal blade to my skin for one more day,” she says. “After I stopped for a few days, I could give my permission to experiment...and it got easier. Some people say it's brave, I wouldn't be able to do it without social media.”
Fellow bearded women and support groups started to reach out to Rose, who was inspired to be herself.
“Years of heartache and anguish I could have spared myself,” she says. “But I can't say that. I was ready now.”
She even says she feels “pretty” with her beard, because it feels amazing being herself. It was eight months ago when she decided to be free.
“I was emotionally drained from trying to hide my beard every day and feeling like I was failing miserably,” she says. “Growing my beard was an incredible experience. It was very difficult, daily emotionally and physically in the beginning because it was very uncomfortable, itchy and crawly. I had to fight the urge to shave.”
Within six weeks, Rose was sporting a full beard.
“All of my friends and family are incredibly supportive, they really had no idea how much I struggled and how much it was affecting me,” she says. “People on the street do look at me and do a double take, but their reactions are either positive or neutral. I have had people approach me in public and wanted to meet me and shake my hand and tell me I'm brave and courageous and even an inspiration.”
Rose says she’s now gotten marriage proposals and plane tickets sent to her from admirers wanting her to come visit.
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