A queer woman in Michigan has set a new world record for the “longest beard on a living female,” according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Erin Honeycutt clinched the record after growing out her beard for two years.
Her beard was measured at a surprising 30 centimeters, or 11.8 inches, long, surpassing the old record of 25.5 centimeters, which the now-75-year-old Vivian Wheeler previously held.
Honeycutt’s beard is entirely natural — no hormones or supplements were used to get it to the impressive length. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which causes a hormonal imbalance in her body that can cause irregular menstruation, weight gain, infertility, and excess hair growth.
Honeycutt told Guinness that she has been able to grow facial hair since she was 13 years old. She explained that she has tried many different methods to remove the hair, including shaving, hair removal creams, and waxing.
Her desire to have a clean-shaven face made her self-conscious about her beard and caused her to put lots of energy into concealing it.
“I was probably shaving at least three times a day,” Honeycutt said.
This regimen continued throughout her adolescence and into adulthood until she partially lost her vision from an eye stroke triggered by high blood pressure.
Honeycutt then became “tired of shaving,” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, with a bit of encouragement from her wife, Jen, began growing it out.
Honeycutt had felt she could “probably grow a decent beard,” and did so while stuck at home.
“It really gave me a chance to build my confidence in growing a beard,” Honeycutt said. “Wearing masks really helped with building my confidence in going out in public.”
She told Guinness that another highlight of the beard is that it hides her “double chin,” and one of the downsides is that “it gets stuck in everything.” To avoid getting food stuck in her beard, she will often braid it or tuck the beard into her shirt while eating.
Honeycutt’s mother, Jill Roach, supports her daughter’s choice to have an award-winning beard.
“I didn’t realize how much she was having to shave as a younger person and this is a lot that she has to go through, and it’s mainly just for appearance,” Roach said. “I got used to it, and I can see she’s very happy about it, and that’s the main thing.”
Honeycutt says it’s “really awesome” to be recognized for setting a record based on a trait that used to cause her personal anxiety and anguish.
“I never thought that I would be able to attain or achieve a goal that would let me be in a book, and it’s just kind of a nice thing to be recognized for, even though it’s just something that happens naturally for me,” Honeycutt said.
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