A woman with a hairy chest decided to chop off her insecurities about it — by letting it all grow out.
Esther Calixte-Bea has had abundant, curly body hair — including on her torso, legs and armpits — throughout her 26 years of life.
However, the Montreal, Canada, native is learning to love and embrace her mane after years of feeling low and even suicidal over her condition.
Bea told Caters News how she decided to throw out her razors, as well as ditching waxing and shaving her body hair.
She explained that there is no medical explanation behind her extra hair and that the women on her father's side are "quite hairy" and "normal."
"I come from the Wè tribe in Ivory Coast, Africa, and the women in my great grandmother's time were very hairy and it was seen as beautiful," she said.
Bea explained that it took years for her to feel sexy in her own skin and it was only in her 20s that she became "fed up" with feeling "insecure" about her chest hair.
"It was tiring carrying around a heavy burden and hiding my hair from people," she said. "However, I eventually decided enough was enough."
She ceased shaving and began to practice positive self-talk by complimenting herself daily.
When she was younger, Bea would "obsessively" shear off her strands so people at school wouldn't see her furry bosom.
"Shaving and waxing caused me tremendous amounts of pain. It was more hassle than it was worth," she sighed.
Bea revealed that ever since she stopped shaving in May 2020 and has embraced the au naturel look, she has received supportive responses from fans.
Despite some snide comments and dirty glances from others, the reactions she's received have been about 90% optimistic.
"I have shown them that facial and body hair is nothing to be ashamed of," she beamed. "I have received thousands of messages from women all over the globe who thought they were alone."
She noted that she "pushed' herself to walk out of the house in shorts to show off her hairy legs. At first, she was uncomfortable and people began to stare.
But after a while, she didn't let fear "paralyze" her and she didn't worry about what other people thought.
Bea blasted society for telling women to shave, even though "if women weren't supposed to have hair, we wouldn't grow it."
"I have redefined beauty for myself and I no longer allow society to dictate it for me," she declared. "I have decided what beautiful is for me."
In addition to embracing her own look, she encourages other women to love theirs by painting pictures of them.
"I paint beautiful pictures of women who have hairy bodies. I don't want hair to be an obstacle anymore," she said.
"I refuse to victimize myself because of it."