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But Bobisuthi was there to compete with the men - beard-to-beard with follicles all her own.Read More: Facial hair amasses at Portland competition A bearded lady is a rare sight in our society - there's a reason they were carnival attractions, after all - but the mere ability for a woman to grow facial hair, even a full beard, is far more common than we realize."I realize that when someone makes a comment, it says more about them than it says about me.Because I haven't done anything wrong." It's an impressive show of courage, one that earned her loud ovations from the rambunctious crowd at Dante's in Old Town. She gets it from her partner, Bee, and from her three-year-old son, Finch, but in general, society is not kind to women with facial hair. Do I want to be ashamed of myself for how I naturally am?Most women who compete in these kinds of facial hair contests do so with fake beards and moustaches made out of paper or yarn.They call them "whiskerina" contests or "build-a-beard" competitions.Bobisuthi was one of those people, one of the countless shaven masses.
One day, a few years ago, she just decided to stop. "Every time I walk out of the house I prepare myself to be abused," she said.Her facial hair began to fill out, much more than she ever expected. "The comments bother me, but I don't let them get to me.I don't let them get to me because I would not be able to walk through life if I let them get to my heart," she said."I realized I wasn't happy shaving," she explained. It sounds terrifying, constantly steeling yourself to verbal abuse, but Bobisuthi has done well with it."I got tired of it, I got tired of hiding behind the razor." Once she let them go, the two patches grew and expanded. Some days she gets tired of it all, but some days the beard gives her strength, strength enough to withstand all the horrible things people say.
Bobisuthi's beard grows due to a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.