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Woman known as Lady Sasquatch embraces condition that causes thick, dark hair to grow all over her body


Dana has hirsutism, which causes thick hair to grow all over her body (Picture: MDWfeatures / HippieGoddess.com)

Dana, 32, is known as Lady Sasquatch thanks to the thick, dark hair that grows all over her body.

After years of shaving, she’s now embracing her body just the way it is.

At eight years old Dana began shaving her legs, and plucked her eyebrows at 12.

Over the years she was exhausted by the hours spend shaving, waxing, and epilating the hair on her feet, legs, pubic area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands, and fingers, and left constantly itchy and irritated as the hairs kept growing back.

When she was 27 she tried laser hair removal, but it didn’t work.

‘When I was eight, I first started to shave, I was already getting picked on because I was raised in a warmer climate, and was always in shorts, so the other kids would always comment on how much dark hair was on my legs,’ said Dana.

‘When I was 12, I started to pluck my eyebrows and bleach my moustache. As I grew older, I would get waxing done and then use an epilator for the hairs that weren’t removed with the wax.

‘I even tried laser hair removal but it had poor results and was very painful.

She began shaving at eight years old (Picture: MDWfeatures / HippieGoddess.com)

‘It was like having a constant nagging chore. Even after I shaved, I would still feel prickly, my skin was never smooth. With having chronic pain and fatigue, it just used up so much of my limited energy.’

It wasn’t until she visited the gynaecologist, and his ‘jaw dropped’ upon seeing the hair on her stomach and pubic area that she was diagnosed with hirsutism, a condition that causes excess hair growth.

‘I went in for my yearly check-up, and it was the first time I had been since I stopped shaving,’ remembers Dana. ‘My male doctor lifted the sheet and his jaw dropped. I don’t think he had ever seen a woman with so much natural hair.

‘He immediately checked my stomach and my face and neck and then ordered for more tests to be done to check my hormones.

But now she’s accepting her body hair (Picture: MDWfeatures / @hirsuteskinsuit)

‘Then I checked my online medical records after my appointment and under all my diagnoses was hirsutism. I was relieved to know that there was a name for all my hair, and then it helped me to normalise it with some research.’

Two years ago, her boyfriend Steve asked why she bothered spending so much time removing her hair and covering up. He encouraged her to ditch the razors and embrace her body hair – which she did, and she hasn’t looked back.

For the last two years Dana has learned to love her excess hair, knowing that her boyfriend still finds her attractive no matter how furry her legs are.

She now shares her life on Instagram to encourage other people to embrace their bodies just the way they are.

‘It was really scary at first because I knew my family and strangers would judge me,’ says Dana. ‘Once I got over my insecurities and was more comfortable in my skin, it definitely was liberating.

‘I also felt like I was being a good example for my kids, to help them learn to love and accept their bodies too.

‘Baby steps have been key to me accepting my body hair. I was so nervous on the fourth of July in 2017, it was my first time in shorts outside in public.

‘I just took deep breaths and tried to remember that my hair may be shocking for some but only because they’ve never seen a woman with natural hair.

(Picture: MDWfeatures / @hirsuteskinsuit)

‘I used to be a hair stylist and I was paid to remove hair, so I understand that there are people who do not like it, I used to think the same way.

‘One time when I went for a hike, I heard a man say, “look her legs have more hair then mine” and really, it just made me laugh so hard.

‘It’s really funny to me now that people are shocked by my hair because it seems so natural and normal to me.

‘Most people don’t even say anything at all. If I feel them looking, I might bring it up or make a joke about being a sasquatch.

‘I woke up one day and just felt an urge to share my story. I am mentally at a place now where I understand not everyone will appreciate what I’m doing but if I can inspire just one person to accept their hair then I will be filled with so much joy.

‘I have struggled for so long, and I think if I knew earlier on that it was ok to stop shaving then it would have helped a lot.

More: Beauty

‘I feel more beautiful, brave and courageous than I ever have in my life. I am grateful that I have feet that can hold me up and legs that can help me walk and arms that I can give hugs with and I don’t mind if they’re hairy.’

To anyone feeling insecure about their body hair, Dana says: ‘I think if we were raised with more natural women in the media and advertisements then we would be able to accept ourselves more. So hopefully seeing my story will help inspire others.

‘I have so much more peace of mind and love for myself now that I have accepted my hirsutism, and I would love for that to catch on.

‘If you feel like you have to remove your hair but you don’t want to, just stop. Let go of the fear of not conforming and fill yourself up with love and gratitude.

‘This is your life to live and no one else’s, you should be as comfortable as you want, and spend your time and energy as best suited for you. Self-care is different than just pedicures and shopping, it’s also listening to your body and respecting what it wants and doesn’t.

‘Guys have a lot of hair and they are not gross, neither are you, we are all beautiful.’

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