In a society that loves the unusual, quirky and unfamiliar, it seems only right that we include the topic of bearded women and their place in our community. Once considered circus and freak show curiosities, bearded women in the 19th century were regarded as tremendously bizarre.
Annie Jones, born in American in the latter part of 1800, is said to have owned a rather established pair of sideburns and tash from an extremely early age. She was only 9 months old in fact when her parents were paid by showman P. T. Barnum to have her as one of his circus attractions!
What with expanding scientific knowledge and culture changing, we know now that women with beards usually have a hormone imbalance in their bodies- an excess of the hormone androgen. Not to mention damning cultural pressures and ideals of beauty, it’s rare to find a bearded women in Western culture. Not one that’s willing to let her hormone imbalance, er, flow and appreciate the outcome- a whopping beard, that is!
It does happen, though. Presenting Harnaam Kaur, the girl in her early 20s who’s spent more than 5 years cultivating her beard after a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome which causes excessive hair growth. She told The Daily Mail last summer that it makes her feel like a ‘confident woman not afraid to break society’s norms.’
You go girl. I mean, why should it just be men who get to enjoy the experience of a beard?! Check out our other post on Conchita Wurst if you want to see how one man broke the boundaries of drag by embracing the beard.