Today we want to tell you about Leah Jorgensen who had been shaving her entire body for a long time. She suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that affects a woman’s hormone levels. Women with PCOS produce higher amounts of male hormones. Among other issues, this imbalance causes intense hair growth on the face and body.
We at Bright Side are inspired by this story and its important conclusion: don’t let anyone else’s standards define your beauty.
As a child I was bullied and called a man.
Leah Jorgensen’s body started to change when she was a teenager because of a hormonal disorder. From then on she was often terrified by people staring and had to wear clothes that would hide her “shame and embarrassment.” Her legs, arms, chest, back, stomach, shoulders, and face are covered with thick dark hair.
My daily goal for a long time was to just get through the day without anyone noticing how hairy I was.
Leah admits, “Because I have so much of it, it was very difficult to hide. I developed a terrible case of anxiety and it really took a toll on my mental health.”
She had a strategy — shave or hide — but it was exhausting trying to follow it. She spent many hours either trying to remove the hair or covering herself up in hoodies and drowning in sweat. She was convinced that nothing, except a miserable and lonely life, was waiting for her considering the fact that even her doctor was startled when they met.
In late 2015, Leah was hit by a car and forced to go to the hospital in an ambulance. To save her life, paramedics started to cut her clothes away. She was terrified by the idea that she would see the fear or disgust in their eyes too. But to her amazement, their reaction was different, “I realized no one cared what I looked like…”
She underwent surgery and therapy in the hospital and came out of it with a new attitude toward her problems and life: all these negative emotions she felt were not about her hair, they were about other people’s perceptions.
I don’t want to run from it anymore.
Acceptance was the first (and hardest) step on the way to change. Do you want to see what happened with Leah when she successfully went through it? Here is a short list:
- she ditched her razor;
- she stopped wearing long clothing for the sake of hiding;
- she bravely wore a bikini for the first time;
- she quit her job in insurance and returned to college;
- she got a new job and works with autistic children;
- she started to date a man who loved her (and her differences);
- she created an Instagram account and inspires other people.
Remember — you are not alone.
Leah wants to be heard, “I hope that sharing my story will give others courage.” All people are unique, and that’s OK.
Do you find this story inspiring and powerful? Share it with people who need to be inspired by her courage and leave your comments below.