I'm a woman with a beard and no, I don't care what you think
Becca Wilks, from Birmingham, has had to learn to cope with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms since she was 14.
As well as extreme period pain and fluctuating weight gain, the condition causesadditional hair growth on the 28-year-old’s face, chest, arms, hands, and legs.
After enduring cruel comments at school and a lack of PCOS role models in her youth, her self-confidence was low.
But Becca says she’s grown to ‘love her hairy chin’ and is unbothered about what other people think these days.
Now, her social media career is taking off as, with over 72,000 followers on TikTok (@_theali.house), she wants to show up and represent for the other people out there with PCOS.
‘The hair on my neck, legs, and chin has stood out since I was just 14,’ Becca said.
‘I remember using my mum’s razors and hair remover cream without her knowing – one time the cream caused a nasty burn.
‘The leg and neck hair were the worst, the pain of the ingrown hairs and the constant rapid hair growth made me feel so self-conscious.
‘The negative feedback was really hard for me when I was younger.
‘I used cheap make-up products [to cover up] but it didn’t work as hair would literally poke through it.
‘At 18, I accidentally cut my neck while shaving, and everyone at my sixth form noticed the cut – that’s when I finally reached my breaking point.’
Even though she also suffered from extreme period pain, ovarian cysts, and fluctuating weight gain, Becca claims doctors ‘ignored’ the symptoms of her PCOS for years.
But even with all the trouble PCOS has caused her, Becca’s got a much more positive outlook on life now.
She said: ‘Sometimes I now let my hair grow for up to three weeks when I am super busy.
‘There are bigger things in life and I think my hair growing long on my neck is not one of them — and if I am not bothered, I do not care about the opinions of others.
‘PCOS is a part of me, but it does not define me and is not defined by the negative thoughts of others.
‘When I want to shave I use a sensitive skin face wash and razors. Then I continue with the rest of my skincare routine.’
These days, she’s taken to the internet to build an online community of like-minded women, and couldn’t care less what trolls have to say about it.
She wants to share her story in the hopes that it will help women like her feel less ashamed about facial hair.
Becca said: ‘Some people have told me I gave them the confidence they need to go out without make-up and made them feel less alone.
‘Sharing my story has been a form of therapy for me, too.
‘I am on a journey of expression, and being my most authentic self, I want to bring awareness and make people understand that having hair does not mean a woman is imperfect.’
In one of Becca’s latest TikToks, which has earned 35,900 views and more than 1,950 likes, she gives followers a look at her shaving routine.
The comments are full of people praising the content, with one person writing: ‘You are beautiful”.
Another commented: ‘I have PCOS too sis. This video gave me confidence thank you.’
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