Esther Calixte-Bea, an artist from Montreal, Canada, once hated her chest hair so much that left her feeling depressed and at times, even suicidal. It was in 2019 when she made a decision to completely ditch her razor and embrace the real version of her.
Talk about women empowerment and you will see hundreds of stories of women who have empowered themselves this way or that. The term has gained more attention than ever in recent years when more and more women came forward to get their stories heard.
A young woman has shared her joy of being empowered by embracing her body hair. She seems to finally learn to accept her hairy self.
Esther Calixte-Bea, an artist from Montreal, Canada, once hated her chest hair so much that left her feeling depressed and at times, even suicidal.
It was in 2019 when she made a decision to completely ditch her razor and embrace the real version of her.
The 24-year-old has now embraced the hair that grows on her chest as well as that on her armpits and legs.
She claims that there's no medical reason for her excess hair, she's simply a "hairy person".
''I have recently learned that the women on my father's side are quite hairy and it is perfectly normal," she said.
"I come from the W tribe in Ivory Coast, Africa, and the women in my great grandmother's time were very hairy and it was seen as beautiful.
"It has taken me most of my life for me to accept my body and embrace who I am.
"I became fed up with feeling insecure and shy. It was tiring carrying around a heavy burden and hiding my hair from people.
"I was so depressed and even suicidal during my teens.
"Esther told that in the past ten years any hair removal procedure she used was really painful.
It inspired a painting called You Must Suffer to Be Beautiful.
Yesterday @Concordia alumna Esther Calixte-Bea joined @YiaraMagazine and @cujah for the 2nd webinar of their speaker series to discuss her artistic practice and body hair activism.✨— 4TH SPACE Concordia (@cu4thspace) January 21, 2021
You can watch the full video on our YT here ➡️ https://t.co/98hRHXf6SR @CU_FineArts #CUatHome pic.twitter.com/X6XSrF0NwV
Instagram played a key role in her decision as the platform had so many women like her who embrace their body hair.
"I [found] Instagram accounts of girls who accepted their body and who flaunted their body hair. Especially when it was truly out of the ordinary, for example, women accepting and loving their beards, mustaches, or unibrow, although I did not find many. I would often go back on their accounts and admire their bravery.
Meet Esther Calixte-Bea - a Montreal-based artist whose photographic series, Lavender, is a self-liberating photography project about body hair and femininity. Read more about her empowering journey to self love here https://t.co/BEkxQHzfW5 pic.twitter.com/TjTjbcwkIy— British GLAMOUR (@GlamourMagUK) February 19, 2020
"While social media has helped Esther in this journey, she told that she still receives the occasional negative comment.
She told Glamor: "What I tell myself when I receive these negative comments is 'Apparently, you are so important that people take the time to comment negativity under your pictures.
"In other words, if someone takes a minute of their lives to pause and write a mean comment under your picture, they have nothing better to do and maybe you are doing something good."
Originally showing my chest hair wasn't empowering. I simply did so to liberate myself from this burden and live authentically," she explained.
She now ultimately feels empowered by her decision to ditch every hair removal procedure, although this wasn't the case when she first stopped shaving her chest hair.
"Body hair became empowering because I had set myself free from this prison I felt I was in, that society had constructed for us women," she said.
Gradually when Esther learned what other cultures have to say about body hair, things started to change for her.
Esther continued: "In different cultures, body hair is seen as beautiful on some part of the body. When I went to Haiti last year, I remembered my cousin telling me that he found girls with mustaches cute and I saw women not shaving their armpit hair, which was a great relief.
"Body hair became empowering to me once I realized that women have body hair and it is completely normal and natural."
Article Source: vt.co