Watch: Woman who spent £51k removing body hair finally embraces it - 'despite being mistaken for a man'
A woman who spent £51k removing her body and facial hair has revealed how she learnt to embrace it and overlook any negativity and occasionally being mistaken for a man.
Bethany Burgoyne, 33, a journalist and podcast host from London initially started waxing and shaving when she was just 10-years-old after feeling self-conscious.
Growing up Burgoyne struggled with thick dark hair growing on her stomach, chin and nipples and would spend around £250-a-month waxing, epilating and bleaching to remove it.
After 17 years of hair removal, at the age of 27, she decided to start saving up for laser hair removal, which at the time cost around £1k to £2k per course.
In the end, however, she realised the money could be better spent putting towards going travelling and after making that decision, she slowly found the confidence to stop shaving.
Now Burgoyne feels "confident" embracing her "beautiful" body hair and while she still gets some negative comments and stares stares from strangers confused by her gender, she's learnt to overcome it.
"If a woman has body hair it's deemed unattractive," she explains. "Wherever I go I will get at least one comment from someone - ‘how come you are so hairy? Are you a man or a woman?'.
"When can we get to a point to see women as being hairy?"
Burgoyne says growing back her beard and other body hair has has a positive impact on her self-esteem.
"I feel the most confident I have ever felt in my life," she says.
Burgoyne initially noticed she had "hairy legs" aged 10 and as she got older she developed thick pubic hair, a moustache and chin hair.
"At 18 I got hair on my chin," she continues. "And from 18 to 25 it got a lot darker and stronger."
Having felt encouraged to remove her hair Burgoyne says she spent a lot of time waxing, epilating, shaving and bleaching.
"It became very sad for me," she says.
"I didn’t feel confident in my natural body."
Burgoyne says the body hair struggle had a knock on impact on her confidence when she wanted to be intimate with someone or even spend a day at the beach in swimwear.
She also felt discomfort from ingrown hairs.
The turning point came when she started saving up for laser hair removal in her late twenties.
"I thought ‘what if I put that money towards travelling and a podcast instead of feeling shame?’".
Burgoyne began vlogging and sharing her story and in turn it gave her the confidence to begin to grow out her body hair.
"I grew my leg hair, my pubic hair and I rocked it," she says of the transition.
"Leg hair can grow into its own beautiful pattern. It’s like your head hair."
Burgoyne believes her abnormal hair growth is down to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – which causes a hormone imbalance - although she hasn’t received an official diagnosis.
"My symptoms line up but the blood test said I didn’t have it," she explains.
"There is little research on PCOS. The assumption is it’s linked to PCOS but it’s different for every individual."
Having also found the confidence to appear Channel 4 show Naked Attraction to advocate for feminine hair, Burgoyne hopes by sharing her story she could help encourage others to embrace their natural bodies and not feel the shame she once did.
"People say 'I wish I could go out and not shave my legs'," she says.
"You can! You just have to do it and take it day by day.
"I’m advocating for hairy women."
Additional reporting SWNS.
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