It was fullmoon. A very special fullmoon on a very special day.
London at night the moon was so yellow and huge shining over the Thames aside the buildings that were illuminated in blue light. I was not able to remember having seen such a wonderful moon outside of Hollywoodmovies! It had been a day full of surprises. The whole day I had been exited, like children are before getting their christmas presents. I had been invited to take part in a photoshooting in London. On my way to get therwe I was passing trees and plants in juicy green exploding and cheerful people walking by in the streets of London.
As I arrived in front of the studio, a woman approached me and asked if I also wanted to go to the PCOS photoshooting. –
PCOS? Not that I would know. I had not been told that this would be the reason! Remembering that I had mentioned in an interview that I had not been diagnosed with PCOS. I had been to a Gynakologist years ago, because someone who did an interview did not believe that I was a real woman. (Later I was even asked to have a genetic test for an interview to proove that I was a real woman! )
This gynacologist was as well an endocrinologist and had no explanation for my hairgrowth other then that this was genetic, as she had neither found PCOS nor Diabetes while examining me well. Both might cause hirsutism, but must not.
The woman and I did enter the studio and were welcomed in a very friendly way.
I was asked to sit down and a nice young lady took care of my hair and makeup. She decorated my eyes with long eyelashes. This felt awkward, as I usually do not use any make up. I had difficulties to keep my eyes open. After some time it got better. I had the impression that the heavy feeling on my eylashes went down all my body and made me feel heavy dizzy as if someone had given me a narcotising tablet. – A while later getting used to the feeling I did enjoy the way my eyes did look. I quite liked it – and imagined that it could be nice to wear it more often! Surprising myself with my thoughts.
My eyes went to the other makeup artist in the room and I did notice her wonderful long eyelashes. She told me that she had not to do them every day, but could let someone put them on and then she just needed to go again after a week or so. Cool. Things that I didn´t know.
When my make up was done, I looked around the corner to the waiting room and who was sitting on the sofa!?
It was Harnam Kaur! I was so happy to see her! Had the wish to meet her, but no idea how and now here she was! GREAT! We did hug and it felt very familiar, as if we knew each other already some time. Strange. But sometimes it is like this. Now I knew why I had been exited the whole day! This was my christmas present! 🙂
I was touched to see how feminine she was. Of all the bearded women that I have met so far, she is the most feminine to me.
Two other women that were here had also facial hair but did not show it and treated themselves to get rid of it. I think to remember that one of them said that she would not have the courage to have a beard.
I guess now that Conchita Wurst did win the song contest the media had again more interest in real bearded women.
Meeting Harnam, seeing more and more pictures of bearded women in the media gives me hope – after all these years it feels like a light on the horizon. More and more women show their facial hair, so that one day it can be part of our daily life to see bearded women in the street.
Perhaps we bearded women will have our first competition for the beard? Well, no. I think we would have a meeting not to see who has the longest or most beautiful beard of all, but to communicate, exchange and support one another and make way for other women to be able to accept and live with their facial hair..
We are more and we get stronger.
And it should not matter why a woman has facial hair. She still can love it and keep it. –
– People are so different. And as there are people with different color of skin, people have different expressions of facial or bodyhair, from none to a lot.
I really dislike it if people tell me that I must have a hormonal imbalance. Or other ideas that having facial hair as a woman must be a sickness. How then is it possible that women of certain “races” (difficult what to say for this) have a lot of facial hair!?
How about men having NO facial hair and no bodyhair? Are they sick as well? Would you call someone with another color of skin, then white, sick?
What kind of perception and thinking is it, to put people in a box of being “not normal” or “sick”? People like to sort things and people into boxes label them judge them in order not be afraid of them. And then out of the way in the box they do not have to think anymore about them and the fear is gone, for the moment. I think it is a quite human behaviour and most of us did learn to behave like this. But now it is time to change this and if not for us then for the following generations, in order to live in a tolerant, openminded and peaceful world.
We can teach our children that there is more, then what we told them before. We can teach them not to be afraid of someone who looks different or lives another way of life and that the world is very colorful in their expression.This will open their mind and they will not behave intolerant, as for them it will be part of a world in which they are living. And there is a chance to get rid of homophobia.
And did you ever wonder how humans would great aliens, if they would land on earth?
If human beings are not able to accept and love one another, how could they then love any aliens coming to this planet? (and I have no idea if there are aliens….might be, but no idea…I say it to make you think….and if you were an alien would you like to land on that planet were people act out of fear and might attac and kill you because you look different?)
Is the UK more tolerant than Germany? I would say my first impression says yes. And no idea if I will change my opinion.
Countries and people change. I want to speak about the difficulty to find work as a bearded woman. Concerning this, the British have shown much more openess and tolerance than I have seen in Germany!
Some years ago, I was filmed by a TV team that made a test with a hidden camera while I was trying to find a job in Germany. People said in front of the Camera that they have no job for me, but had a job some minutes ago when I phoned them to make the appointment.
A man who recruted people for jobs said that he had found people that would give me a job and that would like my CV, but they were scared to loose clients if I would not get rid of the beard! His opinion was that I cannot get a job as a bearded woman! And I think german people that saw this did not think that what he said was unusual or rude or intolerant.
Telling this to people in the UK I always saw a shocked expression in their face! English people want to be polite and open minded and tolerant. Applying for a job in the UK you need no photo in the CV. And so it did happen that an agency did send me to an office job and I got a temporary job in an office!! Unbelievable in Germany – but seemed easy in the UK.
I think tolerance and open mindedness can be learned and you can teach the children, when they are young. If grown ups behave intolerant and rude the kids will pick it up and reflect it too. So in a way it is the responsibility of the grown ups to behave in a way that teaches the young ones how to live in peace.
I have no idea what is going on in Germany. Germans love to say the truth, and the truth is that humans have a lot of negative thoughts and judgements as the day goes along. I guess Germans love to express what they think and do it sometimes without thinking that it might hurt.
Whereas an english person might have learned to hold the judgment and negative words inside and rather say nothing then to say rude or hurtful words to someone.
I appreciate it if people are honest and truthful. And I appreciate a kind way of being with one another. – A mix would be good. And for sure you cannot say THE germans or THE english, by putting the inhabitants of a country into a box……generalising….I know…and still my mind did generalise….lets say this is how I did perceive most of the people ….and it does not mean all….and I love to learn from the english to be more polite myself….and to see what I can learn from them.
Amazing was for me to hear, that Harnaam is working as a primary school teacher, or teaching assistant (well the media….everywhere different not knowing what is really true!). I think in the UK this is possible, as the idea in this country is to avoid exclusion and to be open for the differences in people. Whereas in Germany I think it would be quite impossible to work in a school as a bearded woman. Well I might be wrong and things are already changing. But when I was living in Germany they made a documentary about me in which I was looking for a job. We went with the camera to an agency who should find a job for me. The man in charge said well he did find employes that wanted to give me a job because of my CV, but when he mentioned the beard they said no way, the parents of the children would not want this and he was afraid of any problems that could arise from me having a beard.
I think in the UK people have been trained in politeness, open-mindedness, and integration of all kinds of people into the community, so there is a possibility for a woman with a beard to be working as a teacher.
In Germany I don´t know, I guess it is due to the history, and the mentality that comes from this, to be afraid of people that are different and therefore a lack of ability to integrate them into the society. In bigger cities such as Berlin or Hamburg it is more likely but in other parts of Germany there is still a narrow mindedness.
I like that in the past years there are more and more women coming out and showing themselves with a beard.
It is about accepting ourselves and living beyond concepts of how you have to look and to behave.
This gives me hope that one day women with beards and women without will just be the normal picture in society and noone will doubt that it is possible that women have beards, as it was when I grew up.
I just watched the german american documentary “No place on earth” which they did show on german TV. It is an interesting documentary about Jews during WWI hiding in a cave under the earth for more than 500 days! 500 days without any daylight, for most of them, well some men had to go up and find food, but the women never got out or the children! And I was imagining how that is, not seeing the green of the plants or the sunlight the colors and how amazing it must be then after this time to be back out there in this brightness and wonder! I think you would get a feeling of wonder and would appreciate everything very much, the food as well, which was very short then.
I did like the film. Some of the survivors are being interviewed in the documentary and visit one more time the caves together with some of their grandchildren. Amazing to see.
Here is a trailer followed by an interview with Janet Tobias the director of the documentary and Judy Gelman Myers on Shalom TV where they speak about making the film:
Some weeks ago, I came back to Germany from having been abroad.The woman at the airport, wanted to see my ID Card in which is a photo of me without a beard. She looked at it and said:
“Well I think you are in a transition and this name tells me that you are female, but as you are having a beard which is a male feature, you need to change the picture in your passport.” I told her, that men do not have to change a picture in a passport if they are wearing a beard. She did not want to accept. And insisted that I soon need to change my passport.
I was tired and not in the mood of discussing, and I must admit I was scarred that if I did say anything wrong it could end in a difficult situation.
I passed the control and felt disappointed. A woman had told me this. And I had expected her to be supporting. I have traveled many countries in the last years, but never anyone dared to say something about my photo in the passport and my beard. They did look confused, or did ask, but never told me to change the picture!
I got angry, and thought typical for the Germans! Some time ago they told the Jews to wear a star on their clothes so they could recognize them, and now they tell me to have the bearded picture in my passport so that things are more clear and sorted. I think people need to be informed in order to understand that there are not only two genders. To understand that between the two genders there are so many variations possible and that some people do not fit in any of the boxes. And that this is ok. No fear. Just a variation. To be curious instead to be scared. Well a lot to learn a way to go……