This year, a British woman with a pre-diagnosed medical condition grew a beard in support of the cause.
Siobhain Fletcher, a 36-year-old from Leek, Staffordshire, was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) when she was just a teenager. PCOS is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female sex hormones, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PCOS can cause women to develop male-like characteristics, including abnormal hair growth on the face, stomach or chest.
"When I started getting my periods, they never became regular - I thought that was a bonus!" Fletcher told ABC News. "I started getting a few hairs, around 15 or 16. Every woman gets facial hair. I thought that was just part of puberty. I cut with scissors, or shaved them off." She identified the issue when she was in her 20s and attempted to remove the hair by shaving, waxing and using chemical creams.
Fletcher's decision to grow her beard for Movember took courage. She had self-esteem difficulties growing up, has been mistaken for a man and was housebound for five years, she revealed during an interview with ITV2's "This Morning" on Tuesday.
“My condition used to contribute to depression and anxiety but this is for a good cause and I want to highlight that people shouldn’t judge you on what you have on your face, it’s what is inside that matters," Fletcher told the Mirror on Nov. 10.
In early November, Fletcher's friend told her that he was growing a mustache in support of Movember, and she was inspired.
Fletcher has raised £1,040 (about $1,663) on her Movember page as of Wednesday afternoon.more