Leah Jorgensen is a 33-year-old woman with polycystic ovary syndrome which is a hormonal disorder that can cause abnormal male pattern hair growth. In an article in the New York Post, Leah said that as a child she would be bullied and called a ‘freak’ or a ‘man.’ She says that since the age of 14, she has been bullied and since then she has always remained covered up wearing only long sleeve shirts and turtlenecks.
In the article, she revealed that she spent most of her 20’s meticulously shaving different parts of her body including her lips, chest, stomach, arms, legs, and back. Leah said that she feared people getting close to her and that she even avoided the dentist for 12 years. In an article done by Unilad, she said that her fear of getting close to people caused her not to have her first kiss until she was 27 years old.
In an interview with the New York Post, Leah said: ‘my way of coping with that shame and embarrassment was to hide. My daily goal for a long time was to just get through the day without anyone noticing how hairy I was. Because I have so much of it, it was very difficult to hide it. I developed a terrible case of anxiety and it really took a toll on my mental health. I had a bad experience with my doctor. She had never seen such an extreme case of hirsutism and she was startled and made a facial expression.’
But in 2015, in December, Leah was hit by a car as she was crossing a road and she was forced to go to a hospital via an ambulance. When the paramedics cut her clothes off and saw her hair they weren’t startled and instead rushed to save her.
Leah said: ‘I realized no one cared what I looked like, they just saw me as a person. It really helped me to get over it.’ She also went on to say that she found a boyfriend around that time and that’s when she embraced who she is as a person and stopped hiding. She said: ‘I realized that I never really disliked how the hair looked. The problem was not with the hair, it was with people’s perception of it. I thought, ‘Enough is enough.’ I didn’t want to run from it anymore.’
Since then, she has ditched the razor and embraced how her body looks. She has since compiled more than 2,500 followers on Instagram and even wore a bikini for the first time ever last summer. Leah has also since quit her job in insurance and returned back to college where she is studying social work and is now working a job where she works with autistic children.
Leah said: ‘I used to be scared of people noticing my hair, but now I embrace it and let it grow. I’m unique and that is perfectly fine. I do still shave my face because I like how my face looks without hair, but I used to shave multiple times a day and now I will go a couple of days. It has been incredibly empowering. I hope that sharing my story will give others courage. And to women who have hirsutism: You are not alone.’
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