She’s young, beautiful, fit, and… Shaving her face?!
If 26-year-old Perth woman Tina-Marie Beznec wanted to get our attention, she sure did succeed: a photo she posted on blogger Constance Hall’s Facebook page has had over 10,000 likes and 300 comments since last Saturday.
The photo is of Tina-Marie in her bathroom, make-up free and covered in shaving cream as she shaves her face. Why? Because, since the age of 16, she’s struggled with excess facial hair thanks to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS.
Along with facial hair, Tina-Marie lists in her post the other symptoms that she's batted for over ten years.
"I have Polycystic ovary syndrome," she wrote alongside her picture. "As well as depression, anxiety, infertility, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, bloating, abdominal pains, acne, cysts, increased risk of cancer and everything else, a lot of woman including myself have to deal with facial hair!"
Problems, she says, that can make her feel "unfeminine".
"Do you know how UNFEMININE this can make a woman feel?!?" wrote Tina-Marie.
"I've always been super self conscious about it, but really just have to put this out there because I want create more awareness around this syndrome and how much it can impact someone's life especially if they don't know they have it."
Tina-Marie posted from her own health and fitness blog, Fight Against Fat, where she's documented her awesome 36kg weight loss through healthy eating and exercise.
Constance Hall reposted the picture with the caption, "This chick has made my night" with a love-heart emoji.
Since going up, women have jumped on the post to leave their messages of support for Tina-Marie, and to thank her for normalising a symptom that so many PCOS sufferers are embarrassed by.
"I have PCOS!!!" wrote one user.
"I also have a moustache I have to regularly wax and cheek hairs I have to trim, and all the horrible thick black hairs around my chin... and the extra weight!"
"Thank you for sharing this!" said another.
"As a woman with a moustache and beard due to hormone problems, I'm fed up of people pointing and laughing. I wax every week and I'm plucking every day. It's plucking horrible."
Sufferers of PCOS often struggle with excessive facial hair growth because of a surge in testosterone causes by hyperinsulinemia, or too much insulin.
"Excess androgens (testosterone and other “male” hormones) cause ovarian cysts, acne and, you guessed it, male pattern hair growth (and hair loss for that matter)" says PCOS Support.
Tina-Marie's message was no doubt one that many women struggling with PCOS needed to see - normalising something that no doubt also makes them feel 'unfeminine'.
"When you see someone who is overweight, has bald patches, or a woman who has facial hair DO NOT JUDGE," she wrote.
"You never know what a person is going through and it's unfair to put someone into the "lazy and unhealthy" category without knowing their story.
...Remember we are all fighting our own battles and you can never understand if you aren't willing to learn and listen."