A bearded lady or bearded woman is a woman who has a visible beard. These women have long been a phenomenon of legend, curiosity, ridicule, and more recently, political statement and fashion statement.
A relatively small number of women are able to grow enough facial hair to have a distinct beard. In some cases, female beard growth is the result of a hormonal imbalance (usually androgen excess), or a rare genetic disorder known as hypertrichosis. Sometimes it is caused by use of anabolic steroids. Cultural pressure leads most to remove it, as it may be viewed as a social stigma. Notable exceptions were the famous (and usually fake) bearded women of the circus sideshows of the 19th and early 20th centuries, before freak shows became unpopular.
Notable bearded ladies