An Australian fitness blogger with polycystic ovary syndrome is getting the word out about the reality of living with the disorder in viral photos showing her shaving her face.
“As well as depression, anxiety, infertility, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, bloating, abdominal pains, acne, cysts, increased risk of cancer and everything else, a lot of woman including myself have to deal with facial hair!” wrote Tina Marie Beznec in a message fellow Australian blogger Constance Hall shared this month.
“Do you know how UNFEMININE this can make a woman feel?!?” she wrote. “I’ve always been super self conscious about it, but really just have to put this out there because I want create more awareness around this syndrome and how much it can impact someone’s life especially if they don’t know they have it.”
Experts estimate that PCOS, a hormone disorder that gets its name because it causes small cysts on the ovaries, affects between one in 10 and one in 20 women of childbearing age. Besides the cysts, PCOS can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including irregular periods, acne, infertility, excess facial and body hair. It also increases a woman’s risk of obesity and diabetes.
Beznec runs the Facebook page Fight Against Fat, where she shares health and fitness tips and documents her experiences living with PCOS.
Her message is clear: Don’t judge someone’s personal appearance — especially if you’re writing them off as “lazy and unhealthy” — because you have no idea what they might be dealing with.
“I may be hairy like a man but I’m still a queen lol,” Beznec wrote in a comment on the post.
We couldn’t agree more.