A non-binary student said they feel "much more confident" after ditching razors and growing out their body hair, which is now longer than their boyfriend's.
Barbara Hovermale, who uses the pronoun they, says they started shaving at the age of nine and continued the beauty treatment out of fear of what others might say about their body hair despite wanting to stop for years.
When the 20-year-old college student from Virginia, US, met boyfriend Jeyvien Peakf, they said they felt "fuelled to never touch" their hair again
Barbara turned to TikTok and showed off their natural look in a bid to "make others feel comfortable in their own bodies".
They also want to show others their body hair is "beautiful" – and even inspired one user to wear a bikini for the first time in their lives.
Barbara stopped shaving their armpits back in 2019 and completely stopped shaving their legs early last year.
In one video, the TikToker shows their leg hair on camera and combs it through to highlight its soft texture.
The clip drew thousands of comments from viewers – and one cruel comment saying "poor man, you probs have hairier legs than him" caught the student's eye attention.
They posted a response video to show their body hair was longer than Jayvien's.
Barbara said: "Now that I don't [shave], it feels super great because I'm able to be the person that I feel comfortable in.
"I absolutely love having body hair and seeing it."
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"I feel like I have a great relationship with myself at this point and when I look in the mirror now I feel really proud.
"It's a huge part of me that I never shy away from and if I ever get any rude comments about it I just don't care because I feel like I'm so confident, and that's the most important thing for a human to be."
Barbara found comfort in the relationship with Jeyvien and praised their boyfriend for appreciating them from the start.
"We both kind of just observe each other and in moments will admire all of the details, and I think that's so beautiful," they said.
"My leg hair is pretty soft because sometimes I condition it and if we're cuddling he will rub and play with it – it's kind of comforting and something that he likes to touch."
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