Peace and Love Festival in Sweden

This summer I have been invited to the Peace and Love Festival in Sweden. I am exited and looking forward to be there! For those who speak swedish, there is an interview in swedish that I gave for the Peace and Love Festival in Sweden.

And this is the interview in English:

2010, Peace & Love freedom as a theme. We talked about this incredibly beautiful words from all sorts of different angles, twisted and turned, visitors as lecturers and performers. 2 years later becomes a German bearded lady booked for the festival. Certainly not on the premises, as legend tells, but only to show the importance of each individual’s right to liberty, the right to choose for yourself how it should look like, express themselves or be. It is with great joy and warmth we welcome Mariam, Bearded Lady, the summer’s festival. We interviewed her, so you, our dear visitors, can get to know her better, to share her story and message. Then, we hope sincerely that you take the past Shangri-La, greets her and leave you inspired by this strong woman.

Who are you and what are you doing today?

My name is Mariam and I am a woman with a beard. I am an artist, philosopher and author. I grew up in Germany and I am German-Iranian. As far as I know the reason for my beard is genetic. I work as a Bearded Lady at festivals and have worked in the circus to show people that there are still bearded ladies. I talk to people about our society and how people adapt to trends and fashion. I want to encourage everyone to be free, to be themselves and live their dreams.

When and how did you come to decide that you would grow your beard?

One day I realized, that the hair on my chin belongs to my body and that it should be there.  The right time to let my beard grow was when I lived in Berlin. It was also where I met another woman who also had begun to think about letting her beard grow out. On 6th August 2008, I stopped plucking my facial hair and saw the whole thing as a experiment. What would happen if I let myself be who I really am? Today I am happy to have had the chance to live with a beard. It is an experience that has taught me a lot!

What’s the point that you work as a Bearded Lady?

To show people that all is perfect just as he / she / it is. We have this body and personality, our own history, our own ability to learn and grow. I do not believe in cosmetic surgery or to remove the body hair. All types of hair removal, are in my opinion a reflection of today’s society, where nature is not allowed to be so as it is. We try to get love and appreciation by squeezing us into a fictional and created a template of how a man should look like. It’s sad. I want to encourage people to be themselves. Not being afraid to be who they are.

What will you do at Peace & Love in the summer?

I will sit in a stand, where I show pictures of bearded ladies from the past 150 years. I’ll tell  about their lives and also talk about my life with and without a beard, and answer questions. Apart from providing information and inspiration about the meaning of body hair, I also read in your hands, giving aura readings and walk around the festival area. At the festival, I represent women with beards. Did you know that over 30% of all women on the planet could grow a beard if they did not treat it by waxing, laser, plucking, creams, or hormones?

Tell me about a nice festival memory:

A man at the festival Chalon-dans-la-Rue came to me more than once and told me that he loved watching me in my beard and talking to me. I represented mother and father in one person for him. He was fascinated by me and loved me just as I am, and he was fascinating for me. One night when we were at a party, it felt so wonderful to dance with him and the other festival goers as I felt that I was accepted and welcomed by everyone there. No judgment or discrimination. It was a wonderful festival in Chalon, France.

This year’s theme is A New World. What does it mean to you?

A new world means to me that there is a more colorful world. A world where everyone dares to express themselves and explore their potential and talent. People will have gotten rid of their fear of being themselves! People know that everyone is beautiful and has something to give. A world where people have realized that it’s not about being better than someone else, but it’s about having fun, enjoy life and to support each other in showing the good that is within us.

What’s your best advice for making the world a better place?

Work with yourself. Meditate. Take care of your inner child. Forget everything you’ve learned. Check on the prejudices, ideas and concepts that you’ve picked up from your family, teachers and friends. See what’s true and what is a lie. Get rid of anything that is not true. Love yourself and others, be honest, have fun and be aware of your prejudices, it is a good start for a new world!