Alma Torres made waves back in April for choosing to proudly show off her beard in an effort to empower women struggling to embrace their own facial hair. Not only was she an inspiration, but Torres also helped to elevate the conversation surrounding women with facial hair and shed light on others. This November, Marie Claire has kept this much-needed convo going by highlighting three women who are fully embracing what many others have attempted to conceal.
The feature includes musician and deejay J.D. Samson, Annalisa Hackleman, a makeup saleswoman from Reno, Nev., and Alma Torres, a photographer from the Bronx, N.Y. They all distinctly prove that facial hair does not make you any less female.
“It’s sad that women feel like they need to live under a restrictive ban of facial hair,” said Samson. “In college, I was visiting a friend and I hadn’t bleached my mustache in a long time, and she said, ‘I think it looks really good. You should let this be your thing.’ Since then, I’ve never once thought about changing it. For the most part I’ve really been comfortable with my identity as a woman, but as a different kind of woman.”
Samson mentioned bleaching as her go-to method for disguising facial hair, and the other women reflected back on the extreme measures they took as well to cover up what was naturally occurring with their bodies. Hackleman, who has an excessive hair growth condition in women called hirsutism, talked about a time when she would shave three of four times a day just to remove her facial hair. “My husband would do whatever he could to help me. He would wax my face, but I just couldn’t get it under control. I didn’t want to leave my house. I didn’t want anyone to see me. We weren’t even going to family functions.”
After going through the motions of living with facial hair, all three women are now unapologetic about it and refuse to go back to their old ways. They are proudly and confidently encouraging others longing to follow in their footsteps toward self-acceptance.
“It’s a decision that I made 20 years ago, and it’s a decision that I have never ever once thought about changing,” said Samson in Marie Claire‘s I’m a Woman With Facial Hair — and I’m Proud of It video. These days, people are thanking her for standing onstage with a mustache, and many around the world are applauding her bravery.
Watch the video below to hear each of their unequivocally liberating stories.
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