Several friends have now sent me links to the current news story about Mariam, a bearded woman in Germany.
These, among others:
Talking to M last night, we were trying to count up the bearded women we know or know of. Here’s the list of who I can think of -
The bearded woman who was talking about producing a documentary a while back.
E, a friend of M’s
The person who ran Red Dora’s Bearded Lady Cafe in the Mission
Someone M remembered seeing a few years back at a workshop
And this list from wikipedia:
- Josephine Clofullia - Madam Clofullia, circus star.
- Helena Antonia
- Jane Barnell
- Annie Jones
- Chapel Street Bearded Lady 
- Julia Pastrana
- Brenda, The Bearded Lady of Guildford 
This article says there are 30 people (both men and women) in China with congenital generalized hypertrichosis terminalis, a condition causing extensive body hair growth, including a beard.
According to womenshealth.gov, “Between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 women of childbearing age has PCOS. As many as 5 million women in the United States may be affected.” Not everyone with PCOS has facial hair, and most folks don’t let it grow. But, still, there are probably a few who do.
Plus there are various other reasons for a woman to have facial hair.
I like graphs. I’m wishing for a graph of the number of bearded women throughout history (with the y-axis units being “bearded women per capita”). I want it to magically auto-update itself each time a woman stops shaving. I want a graph that would take a little dive if I shaved my beard again for a wedding or some such. I want a graph because I’m curious, and I like data, and I’m curious how my fellow bearded women are doing out there in the world.
And, also, I’ve got a bit of ego in the game. I want to know if I’m starting a trend. I want to know if the number of bearded women is rising slowly but exponentially as we bearded women become more common. I want to know if clusters of bearded women are popping up, centered around prior bearded women, in a pretty fractal pattern. I want to know if anyone else has looked at me, like I looked at Jennifer Miller ten years ago, and thought, “Hm. Maybe I could stop shaving mine.”
I kind of hope so.