A woman who has a thick beard because of a hormonal condition is embracing her facial hair despite being targeted by cruel bullies who told her to kill herself، daily mail reported.
Alma Torres، 24، from the Bronx، New York، was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) at 16، which caused her to grow coarse facial hair and gain weight.
The photographer says she's been called 'ugly' and ordered to wax by strangers who try to take pictures of her in the street، but has finally decided to embrace her beard after years of shaving her face to try and hide the condition.
Alma، who believes having a beard has made her a 'better person'، says she wants to encourage other women with PCOS to feel good about themselves، and she has the full support of her boyfriend، who says her facial hair is 'natural' and 'beautiful'.
Taylor، 22، previously used to help Alma tweezer out stray hairs، but now says her facial hair doesn't affect their relationship، and that he thinks it's 'beautiful' as it is 'natural'.
Alma said: 'I have been called "ugly"، others have said I should "kill myself". People have told me "go wax your ugly a**" and have called me "cancer".
'People usually don't make comments in front of me. Most are over the internet but I will get stares.
'I've noticed people trying to take pictures of me but I just laugh and smile. I know it's not a big deal so I'm okay with it،' she said.
'I think everybody has their own insecurities and when they don't feel good about themselves they try to hurt other people to try to make themselves feel better.
'I have helped a lot of people feel good about themselves، we need more girl power.
'Having the beard has made me... a better person. I feel more confident and I want to encourage other women with PCOS to feel the same.
'I know how other women feel and I just want them to know that I'm there for them and that you can be who you are and you can be beautiful،' she said.
Despite receiving backlash from online hecklers since growing her beard in August last year، Alma says she has learned to embrace it with the help of her boyfriend of five years.
Alma said: 'I told Taylor about my beard when we started dating. I was shaving at this point so there were times he would see me frustrated and help me tweeze it.
'When I started to grow it I looked at him and asked him، "babe، what if I grow my beard? Would it bother you?" His answer was "nope، it's just hair. That's normal".'
Taylor said: 'I wouldn't know what to say about PCOS but I know my girlfriend has it and it's a struggle everyday but she pushes through.
'She's still beautiful to me and her beard doesn't define her. It's just hair and it doesn't have anything to do with how a person feels and should never be able to change that.
'It's what is inside that matters. It's something that's natural and there's nothing wrong with that.'
Since Alma was diagnosed with PCOS she has also suffered from severe abdominal pain، ovary pain، fatigue and irregular periods، as well as depression and anxiety.
The condition can also affect fertility، but Alma and Taylor say they hope to start a family one day.
Alma said: 'The infertility is difficult but me and Taylor have spoken about it.
'Hopefully God will give us our miracle one day. We can't give up just yet.
'The cramping and ovary pains are super constant. I'm exhausted most of the time as well.
'Taylor is still learning about PCOS. I tell him how I'm feeling and he just gets upset because there's nothing he can do.
'My answer is always، "I'm fine"، when he asks if I'm okay،' she said.
'When I was first told، I started crying and I thought it was a really bad thing. They said the word 'disease' and I thought it was really bad until I did my own research.
'About two or three years ago، I was starting to feel more confident and positive about myself. I look up to women who are body confident.
'I want to tell other PCOS sufferers that this is who you are but if you want to change it then its fine but if you feel comfortable then don't change..
'I don't want to change... I'm happy with the way I am.'