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After developing a condition which resulted in her shaving her legs at eight years old, one mum has finally overcome her embarrassment and embraced her excess body hair.
Dana, from Portland, Oregon, developed a condition called hirsutism - where excessive hair grows on parts of the body where it is normally absent or minimal - causing her to be teased and made fun of throughout her youth.
The 32-year-old, who grew up in sunny Florida, had to start shaving her legs when she was eight and plucking her brows at 12. This eventually developed into Dana needing to wax and epilate the hair - often painful processes, especially as she also suffers from fibromyalgia, a long-term condition which causes pain all over the body.
She said: "It was like having a constant nagging chore. Even after I shaved, I would still feel prickly, my skin was never smooth.
"With having chronic pain and fatigue, it just used up so much of my limited energy.
"I used to shave my toes, feet, legs, bikini, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers for many many years."
Then, two years ago, Dana went for an appointment with her male gynaecologist, whose 'jaw dropped' when he saw the extent of her hair growth.
She said: "I realised only about two years ago that I had hirsutism after a gynaecological appointment. I went in for my yearly check-up, and it was the first time I had been since I stopped shaving.
"My male doctor lifted the sheet and his jaw dropped. I don't think he had ever seen a woman with so much natural hair.
"He immediately checked my stomach and my face and neck and then ordered for more tests to be done to check my hormones. Then I checked my online medical records after my appointment and under all my diagnoses was hirsutism.
"I was relieved to know that there was a name for all my hair, and then it helped me to normalise it with some research."
She learned to come to terms with it - and, eventually, to embrace it - when her partner Steve suggested she stop shaving.
"My boyfriend asked me the question, 'Why do you shave?'" Dana explained. "I never thought there was another option.
"He helped ease my mind so much and help me face my insecurities about my hair. Every time I felt ugly or gross, I would send him a picture of my hair and he would say I was beautiful and reassure me that I didn't need to shave.
"I don't think I could have ever let go of the razor without his support."
Now, Dana shares images of body hair on social media to promote positivity and acceptance.
"Once I got over my insecurities and was more comfortable in my skin, it definitely was liberating," she said.
"I also felt like I was being a good example for my kids, to help them learn to love and accept their bodies too."
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