It's all about redefining beauty standards.
Nova Galaxia is a vlogger who has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal imbalance that causes an estimated 10% of women of childbearing age to have a higher proportion of male hormones. One sign of PCOS is excess facial or body hair—something she's been afflicted with since puberty.
But after 14 years of razoring her facial hair daily, 26-year-old Galaxia is tired of shaving off her "secret." So she's chosen to embrace her beard and send a message to other women that they too shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed by their hairiness.
“Women shouldn’t have to shave if they choose not to, but what about those of us who have way more hair than what is considered socially acceptable?” she wrote in blog post for Graceless. “What about us women with dark, thick tummy and chest hair? What about us women who are fully capable of growing a big, bushy beard?”
On Wednesday, Galaxia posted two photos of herself with newly dyed red hair and a full beard. “Dyed my hair to match my beard,” she wrote.
In a YouTube video, Galaxia detailed her battle with PCOS. She said her body hair started “darkening” and caused ”just hair everywhere” between the ages of 11 and 12. Other signs of PCOS include irregular periods and acne, and the condition can make it hard to get pregnant.
Since her post about her decision to stop shaving, Galaxia has shared beauty tutorials covering her own makeup routine and even a how-to on rocking a glitter beard.
“Humans are incredibly diverse as a species, and there is no correct way to be a ‘man’ or a ‘woman,’” Galaxia wrote. She ended her post with a message to other women affected by hirsutism: “Go forth and start unlearning all that self hate. It’s alright to love your body, no matter what that means.”