After skipping the razor and appreciating her beard, a non-binary performer feels hotter than ever.
Dakota Cooke, 30, who uses both she and they pronouns, initially observed abnormal hair growth on her face when she was 13 years old and went from weekly waxing treatments to shaving her face twice a day for years.
The Las Vegas sideshow performer felt ridiculed and embarrassed about her hair growth, and she fell into a ten-year cycle of worry and pain.
Following several testing, it’s unknown what triggered Dakota’s facial hair, but doctors assume it’s related to her adrenal glands releasing high quantities of testosterone.
But she’s now utilizing her role in the sideshow and social media to convey acceptance about being a woman with facial hair.
When she entered puberty at 13, she thought she got struck with a little bit extra, she explained.
It began with peach fuzz on her face that grew longer and darker.
A family friend noticed it at the time, so her stepdad brought her to the doctor for testing, then to the hair parlor for her first ever wax.
It was quite unpleasant, and she was only discovering how to shave her legs at the time.
‘She grew up at a time when women with facial hair were so demonized that the women at the salon told her that females aren’t meant to have facial hair.
She supposed it resonated with her because for the following 10 years, she just kind of sank into this horrible cycle where she’d attempt to hide her face in images and go to waxing sessions every week.
It came to the point where she was shaving her face twice a day, first in the morning and again on her break, since the hair were just so noticeable, and she was working in the cosmetics department where it wasn’t appropriate to be anything other than a traditional lady.
She would be wearing makeup to conceal the shaving scars and rash, and her face would be irritated and red all the time.
She thinks she still has some of those shaving scars to this day.
Dakota didn’t fully choose to accept her facial hair until 2015, when a buddy recommended she give it a shot.
She was at a party with her buddy, Sunshine, 35, and she was telling her all of these great stories about working at the circus, and she just liked the notion of it all, Dakota says.
She wished she could simply grow out her beard and join her pal, she told her, to which she replied, “why don’t you?”
That was really the spark for her to start appreciating herself and her beard. Growing her beard out was pretty difficult at first, and it required a lot of willpower not to shave it off again.
She remembers the first time somebody tried to snap a photo of her after she’d grown one inch, and received a lot of looks.
She was worried about the gazing initially, but it came to the point where she simply stopped caring.
Considering the hurdles she had while accepting her facial hair growth, Dakota emerged triumphant.
She now sells herself as Dakota the bearded lady, and it really comes into her act at the sideshow, where she also does stuff like hammering nails into her nose and walking on glass, she explained.
Her family and friends have been really encouraging throughout her path of self-acceptance, even purchasing a “don’t f*** with the bearded lady” sign for her, which she likes.
Her TikTok fans have also been fantastic, and love addressing their queries and receiving words of encouragement.
She even had a praise from one of her ultimate heroes, John Waters, after visiting him at a book signing in full makeup, feminine dress, and a full beard.
Even though she is non-binary, she dress extremely femininely and enjoy wearing makeup, dresses, and skirts.
Having a beard has never harmed her femininity; it’s just a part of her now, and she appreciates that she has accepted it.