Meet Alma Torres. She is a young woman in her twenties from the Bronx, New York, who has a beard.
Torres was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome when she was 16 years old. The condition caused the growth coarse facial hair and weight gain. Since then, Alma has been struggling to fit in the beauty-obsessed society. She commented in an interview:
I have been called “ugly,” others have said I should “kill myself.” People have told me “go wax your ugly a**” and have called me “cancer.”
The cruelty of strangers made her shave her face for years, but she decided to put down her razor and embrace her condition.
Alma thinks that having a beard made her become a “better person,” and she wants to help other women with PCOS to feel good about their appearance.
I’ve noticed people trying to take pictures of me, but I just laugh and smile. I know it’s not a big deal, so I’m okay with it. I think everybody has their own insecurities and when they don’t feel good about themselves, they try to hurt other people to try to make themselves feel better. I have helped a lot of people feel good about themselves, we need more girl power.
Alma’s biggest supporter, her boyfriend Taylor, thinks her facial hair is “natural” and “beautiful.” He said:
I wouldn’t know what to say about PCOS, but I know my girlfriend has it, and it’s a struggle everyday, but she pushes through. She’s still beautiful to me, and her beard doesn’t define her. It’s just hair, and it doesn’t have anything to do with how a person feels and should never be able to change that. It’s what is inside that matters. It’s something that’s natural, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Alma’s condition also makes her suffer from severe abdominal pain, ovary pain, fatigue, and irregular periods. In addition, it affects her mental health, making Torres go through depression and anxiety.
What do you think about Alma’s condition? Should she embrace her facial hair or shave it off?
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