A young woman has shared her joy after finally learning to accept her "very hairy" self. Esther Calixte-Bea, from Montreal, Canada, has decided to ditch her razor and embrace the hair all over her body - which has previously left her feeling depressed and at times, even suicidal.
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 learnt 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."
ALSO READ: The agony of Kenyan women with beards and hairy bodies
Esther went on to recall how she would "obsessively" shave or wax before going to school to ensure nobody would see any hairs on her chest.
"I would freak out if just two hairs appeared," she admitted.
"Shaving and waxing caused me tremendous amounts of pain. It was more hassle than it was worth. Until the summer of 2019, I decided enough was enough. I stopped shaving and decided to be me. It is the best thing I have ever done as I feel sexier and comfortable in my own skin."
As part of her journey to embrace her body, Esther began complimenting herself which has really helped her feel better. She also began questioning beauty standards.
"If women weren't supposed to have hair, we wouldn't grow it. It is the society that tells us to shave," she says.
ALSO READ: World’s longest beard and 9 other fun facts
"I have redefined beauty for myself and I no longer allow society to dictate it for me. I have decided what beautiful is for me."
She added: "It has been challenging as I am going against the 'norm'. I had to push myself at the start by walking out with short shorts with leg hair. After a few weeks, I began to feel comfortable.
"When I am out, people stare a lot. Someone even filmed me once which was weird. But online, the reaction from others has been 90 per cent positive. I have received thousands of messages from women all over the globe who thought they were alone.
"I have shown them that facial and body hair is nothing to be ashamed of." I don't want hair to be an obstacle anymore. I refuse to victimise myself because of it."