'Bearded Lady' Mariam: Why Did German Woman Grow A Beard? [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on April 10, 2013 12:50 PM EDT

Mariam
"Bearded Lady" Mariam feels sexier and more confident with her beard. (Photo: YouTube / karezza777)

"Bearded Lady" Mariam, who is only identified by her first name, first discovered that she grew thick facial hair after she gave birth to her son 28 years ago.

German-born, Mariam struggled to get rid of her beard for years and even spent hours in the morning to tweeze her beard. Eventually, Mariam decided to allow her beard to grow out for a new perspective.

Invited to speak on ITV's This Morning show, "Bearded Lady" Mariam told the hosts that she now feels sexier and more confident than ever.

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The Beard

Reflecting on her past days, Mariam described her struggle with facial hair and her anxiety before leaving the house.

"I asked my mother what to do and she told me to tweeze them, never to shave or wax. And then I visited my gynecologist who said it happened to lots of other women so I shouldn't worry. But they didn't really give me a reason. Now I know it must be inherited.

"My chin got really red and inflamed from all the plucking, and some of the hairs were in-grown, so it always looked like I'd fallen on my chin. But when people asked what had happened and I told them they couldn't believe it."

Eventually, struggling with the unwelcome beard would become an overwhelming priority for Mariam. Her son remembered her spending hours grooming her chin hair before leaving the house.

"'I thought about it all the time. I had to double check before leaving the house that it was OK, and take a mirror in my pocket. That was life," explained Mariam.

Mariam's perspective changed when she became unemployed in 2008. She decided to give her beard a chance to grow. What's more, "Bearded Lady" Mariam started a blog to share her experiences with other women suffering from excessive facial hair.

"I had no job so I had free time to give it a chance and see what happened, so I started a blog to inform other women about it, and to see what was happening every day and how I felt."

"When I decided to let it grow it didn't feel brave, it was more like a curiosity. I wanted to see what would happen to me. There was a big fear that everyone would turn away and nobody would talk to me anymore."

Living With Excessive Facial Hair

A bold decision, Mariam received just as much support from strangers as resistance from friends and family. Mariam has also been single for a decade.

"My mum said 'do you have to shock people like this?' Then she got used to it and thought that one day I'd finish it, and was patient, but now she's getting nervous and wants me to stop and become 'normal.'"

Despite the cruel comments and reactions from strangers, "Bearded Lady" Mariam believes her presence on the internet can allow eventual acceptance.

"I want to give people the opportunity to talk to a bearded lady, because usually they are too scared in the street."

While "Bearded Lady" Mariam may be out of a relationship for ten years, she says she feels sexier and more confident with the beard. Speaking on the This Morning show, Mariam told the hosts that she would not change her situation even if she could.

"I know myself more now," explained "Bearded Lady" Mariam. "There are always people with a fetish who might only be attracted by the beard, but that is the same with lots of things..."

A Common Problem

According to the Daily Mail, one in ten women suffer from excess facial and body hair.

"Sometimes race or just a family tendency to be more hairy is to blame, rather than any medical problem," said London's Whipps Cross University Hospital endocrinologist Dr. Rina Davison.

"People of South Asian or Mediterranean descent tend to have more hair than Caucasians or those with black skin, for example. It's also possible to be quite a 'hairy' family regardless of race."

Beyond hereditary traits, excessive male hormones known as androgens may also trigger unwelcomed hair growth. Excessive androgens may be caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which combines facial hair growth with acne, weight gain, and irregular periods. A tumor in the ovary or adrenal gland may cause the excretion of androgen hormones as well. Facial hair on women may also be caused by medication such as steroids.

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