This Indian woman is breaking gender stereotypes by sporting a moustache

This Indian woman is breaking gender stereotypes by sporting a moustache

But it all changed around five years ago when that small faint of facial hair began to thicken into a visible moustache.

A lustrous moustache is often seen as a symbol of pride and high social standing by Indian men. They take great care in grooming their facial hair. But it is the opposite for women. They take great pains and spend a lot of money to have it removed, as it is perceived as undesirable for the female lot to have a moustache. But for the 35-year-old Indian woman from Kerala, her moustache is the most attractive part about her.

"I love my moustache," Shyja says declares in her WhatsApp status section, below a photo of herself.

As expected, there are people who troll Shyja for sporting facial hair. But there are others who admire her brave choice. Despite all the attention she has been garnering over the past few years, Shyja remains unfazed.

“People make fun of me saying, 'it's men who have moustaches, why would a woman have one?'" Shyja, who uses only one name, told the BBC. "But isn't that about what I like - what to keep and what not to?"

Shyja, who lives in the Kannur district, had wisps of facial hair above her lip for years. While she would get her eyebrows threaded regularly, the 35-year-old never paid attention to the small faint of hair hanging by her upper lip.

But it all changed around five years ago when that small faint of facial hair began to thicken into a visible moustache.

"I can't imagine living without it now. When the Covid pandemic started, I disliked wearing a mask all the time because it covered my face," she was quoted as saying.

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There were many who asked her to get rid of her moustache but Shyja “never felt that I'm not beautiful because I have this or that it's something I shouldn't have."

The key reason for her confidence is the support from Shyja's family and friends. Her daughter is the biggest admirer of it and tells her mother that it looks good on her.

A part of her attitude also comes from having endured health problems for years. The Kerala woman has had six surgeries over a decade. One to remove a lump in her breast, another to remove cysts in her ovary and the last surgery was a hysterectomy five years ago.

"Each time I came out of surgery, I would hope that I never had to go back into an operation theatre again," she said.

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