Day 32 – Just when you think the sun has gone in, warmth appears… :)

Today I returned to work and received a mass of support from fellow colleagues. People were asking how I was and asked what I had experienced over the last 2 weeks living outside of my comfort zone. It was good to feel so much warmth towards me. As I said to my work colleagues, I have enjoyed this hairy experience but it has been challenging due to a number of factors. I am proud of what I have achieved with raising awareness and much needed funds but a little disappointed my hair growth was not more. Typical when you don’t want hair your body grows it and when you do you can’t grow enough! 🙂

I am REALLY in need of some rest following several late nights recently so I will end here. My photos are as below.

Final thought for the day “Life is not about receiving. It’s about giving, knowing that someone might learn, understand or grow that little bit from the experience.”

NECK SHOT DAY 32 SIDE FACE DAY 32 UNDERARM DAY 32

Day 31 – Happiness & Confidence are the prettiest things you can wear…

Today was the last day of my summer leave from work & it was a beautiful day. I took my daughter to a large outdoor park located in a busy town approx 40 minutes from where we live. The population here is a lot higher than the small town I live in. The park was very busy due to the glorious sunshine. I received a few looks whilst playing with my daughter on the outside play equipment. This didn’t bother me though as I expect looks when I go to new environments outside of my comfort zone. I was fortunate enough to again not receive or hear any comments on my appearance. (Obviously this doesn’t mean there weren’t any comments I just wasn’t aware of any)

It would be interesting to know if my thoughts and feelings on living with excess hair changed if I encountered negative/unkind comments towards me. As this has not happened (and I count myself extremely lucky having had other bearded ladies share their experiences with me) I cannot confirm if my thoughts and feelings would be the same. Although I feel lucky to have received support and have been treated the same when out and about except for looks/stares I feel slightly cheated as it would have been valuable to experience the other side of human behaviour towards the sight of a female with excess hair (especially on the face/neck area) 

Completing this challenge is hard as I often find myself experiencing conflicting feelings. This is because I want to achieve the best outcome to help me understand how ladies living with excess hair feel whilst also experiencing first-hand the behaviour they experience from others. Although I only have another 5 days left of being the hairy fairy from Weymouth I will always be hairy on the inside 🙂

Back to work tomorrow and got an early start so I will end here. Please see my photos from today as below.

Final thought for today…“Happiness and confidence are the prettiest things you can wear”

FULL FACE DAY 31 NECK SHOT DAY 31 SIDE FACE DAY 31 UNDERARM DAY 31

Day 30 – Reflection as completion draws closer…

Been out and about at a couple of different local parks today and also popped in to a large home and garden store. As I am with my young daughter I tend to temporarily forget about my hairy appearance as she keeps me busy with her activities. I have had a good day and not noticed anyone looking at me or heard any comments about my appearance. 🙂

I have also had a day of reflection. I am looking forward to removing my face and body hair again from Saturday 6th September as I prefer a smooth hair free exterior. (This is just my personal preference rather than conforming to what society promotes.) Having said that there will be a small part of me that will miss the extra time in the morning & evening I gained from not removing hair (current time saved approx. 7 hours 30 minutes) I will also miss stroking my facial hair which I tend to do in the evening. Before this challenge I regularly stroked/brushed my face/chin/neck area to feel for stubble to ensure this was kept as smooth as possible. Now I find myself stroking the hair to feel how long it has grown as I want it to grow more and also investigate what it feels like as this changes through the time scales of growth. The hair on my face and underarms started off as quite bristly but is now lovely and soft. My skin also feels noticeably softer and moisturized since it has had 4 weeks razor free time. 🙂 I find myself accepting the extra hair growth on my face and body more than I have done previously (This does not mean I will be keeping it, sorry fellow proud bearded cysters.) Just wanted to be honest about how I am feeling. If anything I now feel I have opened and broadened my thoughts relating to women who chose to live with excess hair through completing this challenge. I believe everyone should chose to present themselves in the way that makes them feel their happiest. 

Before I end I would like to share the following quote which I read earlier and strongly agree with…

“If people were more concerned with how they looked on the inside, then on the outside, the world would be a nicer place to exist.”

Photos for today as below so until tomorrow goodnight all and thank you for reading. 🙂

(p.s tried out a different camera tonight so photos not as good hence only a couple posted, will get more tomorrow)

SIDE FACE DAY 30 UNDERARM DAY 30

 

 

 

 

Day 29 – Radio & Conversation…

This morning I was buzzing with excitement as I was a guest on BBC Radio Solent’s Breakfast show with Steve Harris. It was great to talk with him and share my experience of my hairy fairy challenge with listeners of the show. I wore my charity t shirt and shorts. I was pleased with the interview and am hoping to receive a copy of this in the next few days. Steve asked me if I was glad it was nearly the end of my challenge and I have to be honest I feel both yes and no in reply to this question. I am pleased I have raised some awareness of PCOS and smashed my fundraising target of £500 but feel as I am not likely to complete this challenge again I would of liked to extend the length of the challenge too. I feel torn but after speaking with my nearest and dearest I was reminded I have achieved the goals I set out to complete so I should feel proud of this and as the saying goes ‘all good things must come to an end.’ 

BBC Radio Solent 29th Aug 14 BBC Radio Solent 29th Aug 14 #2

 

After the radio interview I took my daughter to a play cafe and a park which are in a different town to where we live but still within the same county. The play cafe was busy. A young lady who worked here noticed my unusual appearance as I saw her looking on a couple of occasions. She didn’t say anything. I don’t mind as I expect this because it is human nature to look at other people around you regardless of what they look like. I felt I was treated no differently than if I was clean shaven. Several parents had conversations (mainly about their offspring/mine) with me whilst I was at the park. It felt good to know they were talking to me because of similar parental experiences rather than my external hairy appearance.  

Whilst my daughter had a nap in the buggy I walked round the town centre. It was comforting to bump in to a couple of ladies whom I am friends with through work. They both asked how the challenge was going and expressed their support for me. Whilst I was queuing in a shop I received a couple of looks from a pair of young ladies. They spoke about my look to each other but I could not hear their conversation. As I have been on this challenge for 4 weeks now I am prepared for this situation. I choose to think about the reasons I am growing my hair and the benefits from achieving this to distract me from worrying unnecessary about other people’s thoughts/opinions.

I will end here for today with the following thought…’Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’

Photos of me for today as follows;

FULL FACE DAY 29 SIDE FACE DAY 29 UNDERARM DAY 29

 

 

 

Day 28 – 1 week to go & growing…

This morning I took my daughter to a soft play centre which turned out to be busy. I received quite a few looks from people both male and female whilst here. Didn’t hear any comments although I’m sure people talk amongst themselves out of ear shot.

Although I have been growing my hair for 4 weeks now I still get nervous when going out and about. I may portray an air of confidence when others see me but this doesn’t mean I am 100% comfortable with my external hairiness.(Hats off to any female who does, I completely respect you)  If anything I am finding this challenge harder as each day passes and my hair is still growing. It has taken about 3-4 weeks for the hair on my face/neck to be clearly visible. My hair is also still fairer than I thought it would be so unless close up sometimes this is not as visible as I was hoping it would be. This feels mad to say out loud as my feelings are completely torn. One minute I want to have lots of hair that is dark, long, bushy and clearly visible to receive the full experience of this challenge but then also don’t want it when I am experiencing a bout of nervous feelings. This challenge is certainly a roller coaster of feelings. Especially when talking about and growing excess hair! (although living with PCOS is a small challenge in itself)

Went for a long walk on my local beach this afternoon with my little one and sadly choose the wrong end as it was quiet so no news on people’s reactions as there weren’t many about. Will be venturing along a busier beach over the next couple of days so watch this space for more feedback on reactions… 🙂

I am feeling VERY excited (yes I know not really a surprise if you have been reading my blog since creation) as I am on BBC Radio Solent’s breakfast show again tomorrow morning. (103.8FM if you are in Dorset, Hampshire or Isle of Wight) I will ask the lovely DJ Steve Harris for a recording of the interview so I can post here in the next 48 hours for readers outside of these regions and UK. It makes me feel good to know awareness of PCOS is being raised and promoted. I thank Steve for his support in my hairy challenge.

Right I had better go and get some beauty sleep ahead of an early rise tomorrow; here are today’s photos thanks to a supportive friend…

NECK SHOT DAY 28 SIDE FACE DAY 28

 

 

Day 27 – All quiet on the western front…

This morning I went in to my local town with my OH and daughter. We visited a shoe shop, department store and a bank. It was busy as it’s the last week of the summer holidays. I received a couple of looks from children whilst waiting in a queue in the shoe shop but didn’t hear any comments. All was quiet from members of the public I saw in the bank and department store. 

I am feeling a bit disappointed as I was hoping my facial hair would be much longer and more obvious by now. I would like to continue with this challenge for a longer period of time but have taken in to consideration the feelings of my nearest & dearest and the fact my blog takes a large proportion of time to compile in the evenings so will complete this challenge on Friday 5th September 2014. 

Popped to the supermarket this afternoon and got a couple of looks from strangers but was comforted as I also saw a friend who worked in the store and it had been a while since I last saw her. She gave me supportive comments on the challenge I am completing which was reassuring and pleasant to hear.

As well as having excess hair comes emotional feelings (thanks PCOS) so to help settle these I am off for some sleep. Here are today’s photos (courtesy of a supportive male friend as my OH has had to return to work)

SIDE FACE DAY 27 NECK SHOT DAY 27 UNDERARM DAY 27

Day 26 – Conversations are go…(hello awareness)

I had a physio appointment this morning (from a knee operation I had a few months ago). Last time my physio saw me I was looking smooth and today I looked more like a bad impersonator of Chewbacca from Star Wars. (I say a bad impersonator as my hair is not yet long enough to straighten as I found out this morning when I attempted to straighten it with my hair straighteners) 🙂 My physio did not know until today that I have PCOS. She was very supportive of the challenge I am completing and even gave me some ideas for possible future fundraising. I felt very comforted by her supportive comments and fundraising suggestions. I was fortunate two other members of staff present in the physio lounge treated me the same as a female without facial hair.

On arrival to work I was a little apprehensive but need not of worried as my colleagues were as supportive as they had been prior to my annual leave 11 days ago.  Lots of people asked how I was finding the challenge and gave me encouraging comments which were a joy to receive. One of my male colleagues is even supporting me by growing his facial hair for the same duration I am growing mine. I was also thrilled to learn during my absence a request for a dress down day & cake sale had been approved to help with the fundraising I am completing for PCOS and VerityThis will be held at the end of September. It was reassuring to hear from conversations with several ladies today they had not heard of PCOS and/or the national charity Verity before I started this hairy challenge. I was also told by one lady she had participated in discussions about PCOS which she previously knew little about. I am pleased to hear this as it shows awareness is being raised. Doesn’t matter on how small a scale this may be happening, I am just happy discussions are starting to take place amongst women.

During my lunch break I popped in to the local town. Activities included a visit to the bank, a visit to a popular shop and a walk around the town. I believe from a distance my hair is not as noticeable as when I am up close to another person due to the colour and fine texture of the hair so again avoided any unwanted attention when completing these activities. 

After work I met a female friend with PCOS at a popular pub. I purposely choose to sit in the main area of the pub to gage any reactions from my appearance. On ordering drinks at the bar I got an obvious look from the bar man serving me. He wasn’t rude; I just noticed he had clearly seen my facial hair from reading his body language. Whilst sat down with my friend I noticed a couple of looks from the table next to us which comprised of a small group of young adolescents. No comments were made and the small looks I received were not uncomfortable. I believe the majority of looks I receive are due to surprise as from behind all you see is a female who otherwise looks like she takes pride in her appearance. (I usually straighten my hair and ensure I dress well)

On the way home from the pub I stopped at a chip shop. This was not my local but another chip shop in my local town. I had to queue for food as there was a small wait. I noticed as soon as I joined the queue the fryer behind the counter noticed my unusual look. (I have come to the conclusion these chip shop fryers have too much time on their hands as they seem to be my number one subjects for noticing my appearance.)  🙂 The fryer took several looks at me whilst I stood in the queue. When this happens I distract myself from allowing my mind to go in to overdrive by reminding myself why I am completing this challenge. 

The best news of the day was when I got home… I discovered a second beautician had contacted me to offer me complimentary laser treatment to help with permanent removal of my facial hair and reflexology to encourage my hormones to settle down. We will be meeting next week to determine if my hair and skin type are suitable for the laser treatment. I am REALLY looking forward to this. I understand there is no such thing as permanent hair removal but if I can at least reduce its growth so I don’t have to manage it as frequently I will be a very happy person! I will keep you updated on my progress through my blog.

Time for today’s photos…Until tomorrow goodnight all and thank you for your continued support. 🙂

FULL FACE DAY 26 NECK SHOT DAY 26 SIDE FACE DAY 26 FOOT DAY 26 UNDERARM DAY 26