"now it's my best feature."
A Punjabi woman who was dumped by her husband after she suddenly grew a moustache and beard now feels empowered by her facial hair and refuses to shave it off.
Mandeep Kaur had never experienced facial hair when she got married in 2012.
But a few years into her marriage, things began to change when she developed hair on her face and chin, also known as hirsutism.
Sadly, it led to her husband walking out of their marriage.
After the divorce, Mandeep spiralled into a depression. But she sought help and quickly came to accept her facial hair.
The 34-year-old turned to spirituality and started attending a gurdwara.
Mandeep also said that she has been blessed by Guru Granth Sahib.
It is thanks to her faith that she has learned to accept her facial hair.
For years, she anguished over the beard but has now come to see it as just another part of her.
Channelling a newfound confidence, Mandeep now refuses to shave it off and wears a turban alongside her fully-grown beard.
She said: “My husband dumped me because of my beard – now it’s my best feature.”
Since embracing her appearance, Mandeep has also begun farming work alongside her brothers.
She also drives around her village on a motorbike. Her appearance means she is constantly mistaken for a man until she starts speaking but Mandeep says it does not affect her.
In a previous case, an Indian man sought divorce from his wife after he claimed she had grown a beard and had begun to sound like a man.
What is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is when women grow thick dark hair on areas they usually are not known to. This includes the face, neck, chest or thighs.
The NHS advises seeing a GP if this is a problem for you, as a treatable medical condition could be behind it.
Hirsutism is linked to androgens – a group of hormones.
The most common cause behind atypical hair growth is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This can also cause acne and irregular periods.
Other more rare causes of hirsutism may be the use of certain medicines and anabolic steroids.
Elsewhere, other hormonal conditions like Cushing’s syndrome and acromegaly may be to blame.
The NHS also lists a tumour affecting hormone levels as a possible cause.