Shiny lip gloss, jewelry and a beard was what German-born woman Mariam, a self-proclaimed Bearded Lady, showed off during a recent visit to the UK talk show “This Morning.”
After years of plucking and hiding her facial hair, the 49-year-old mom, who only goes by her first name, said she is ready to sport her beard full-time despite public criticism, saying her look makes me her feel “sexy,” the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
Mariam said her facial hair first sprouted after the birth of her son 28 years ago, telling hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofiled that everyone from strangers telling her she should be “shot” to her own mother has criticized her look.
“People can be cruel depending on where you go,” Mariam said. “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,” she said.
Mariam told the hosts that, before deciding to keep her natural look, she resorted to years of tweezing and doctor visits, all who told her that the condition was “normal.”
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“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,” said Mariam, who decided to stop removing the beard in 2008.
“I had no job, so I had free time to give it a chance and see what happened,” she said.
After years of being ashamed of her appearance and a decade of being single, Mariam said she is feeling more confident than ever and is ready to look for love.
“I’m more ready to have a relationship again. ... I also am more confident with myself, and I know myself better than when I was younger,” she said, stating she has learned her lesson about staying away from those who only have beard fetishes.
Some “This Morning” viewers commented on Mariam’s story on the show’s official Facebook page, calling the guest’s appearance “gross” and “traumatizing,” while others offered words of support.
“If people focused more on how they behave and be considerate and be nice to one another, rather than focus on appearance, this world would be a much nicer place. We are all different, yet we are all human. What is normal?” commenter Karen Bengough wrote.
“I think she is very brave, and I admire her for doing what she wants and not what society wants her to. If she feels happy with her beard, who are we to judge her? Good luck to her, I say, and I hope she find love,” Abigaile Jones posted.
One viewer, who suffers from a similar condition following the birth of her son, said she appreciated Mariam’s bravery.
“I get facial hair, which I have to deal with as I get rather embarrassed with it if it’s not dealt with! What a brave women; it can bring a lot of women down, but to face it and make it into something to be proud of is inspirational to many women,” commenter Staci Croxton wrote.