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Non-binary student, 20, has body hair longer than their boyfriend’s

A non-binary college student has revealed how embracing their body, belly and leg hair, which is longer than their boyfriend’s, has helped to make them ‘so much more confident’ – and inspired others to ditch their razors too.

Barbara Hovermale, from Richmond, Virginia, who uses the pronouns they/them, started shaving when they were just nine years old, and despite wanting to stop the beauty treatment for years, they continued the practice out of fear of what others might say about their body hair. 

However, when Barbara met boyfriend Jayvien Peakf, they said they felt ‘fueled’ to ‘never touch’ their hair again – adding that their partner actually loves rubbing and playing with it when they are together.    

The 20-year-old said their boyfriend ‘completely embraces them as they come’ and in doing so has helped them to feel ‘proud’ when looking in the mirror and given them the confidence to wear clothes that ‘show off’ their body hair.

The master’s student uses TikTok to ‘make others feel comfortable in their own bodies’ and posts videos celebrating every aspect of themselves – body hair, cellulite, love handles, and all.

Barbara Hovermale, 20, from Richmond, Virginia, who uses they/them pronouns, claims to be ‘much more confident’ since embracing body hair that is longer than their boyfriend’s

Barbara started shaving when they were just nine years old and despite wanting to stop for years it was partner Jayvien Peakf who 'fueled' them to 'never touch' their hair again

Barbara started shaving when they were just nine years old and despite wanting to stop for years it was partner Jayvien Peakf who ‘fueled’ them to ‘never touch’ their hair again

The 20-year-old said their boyfriend 'completely embraces them as they come' and loves their body hair (pictured)

The 20-year-old said their boyfriend ‘completely embraces them as they come’ and loves their body hair (pictured)

When one rude commenter cruelly joked that Barbara must have 'hairier legs' than their boyfriend, the TikToker cheekily recorded a video to prove them right

When one rude commenter cruelly joked that Barbara must have ‘hairier legs’ than their boyfriend, the TikToker cheekily recorded a video to prove them right 

When one rude commenter referred to Barbara’s boyfriend by saying ‘poor man, you probs have hairier legs than him’, Barbara cheekily recorded a second video to show off how their leg hair was longer than Jayvien’s.

Barbara has since amassed more than 5.8million likes and encouraged many to realize their body hair is ‘beautiful’ – and even inspired one user to wear a bikini for the first time in their lives.

They said that the positive comments outweigh the negatives but shared a video of their legs alongside Jayvien’s in response to one saying “poor man, you probs have hairier legs than him.”‘

Barbara said: ‘It probably shook that person [who left the comment] because they’re like “oh, you’re telling me that someone’s partner can actually be attracted to that?” 

They now feel 'proud' when looking in the mirror and donning clothes that 'show it off'

They now feel ‘proud’ when looking in the mirror and donning clothes that ‘show it off’ 

Barbara said that the first time they ever shaved was in year five of school. They never 'obsessed' over it and would only do so once every two or three months, until they became a competitive swimmer and always had to have their legs free from hair. Pictured, their legs now

Barbara said that the first time they ever shaved was in year five of school. They never ‘obsessed’ over it and would only do so once every two or three months, until they became a competitive swimmer and always had to have their legs free from hair. Pictured, their legs now

The master's student uses TikTok to 'make others feel comfortable in their own bodies' and posts videos celebrating every aspect of themselves

The master’s student uses TikTok to ‘make others feel comfortable in their own bodies’ and posts videos celebrating every aspect of themselves

Barbara has since amassed more than 5.8million likes and encouraged many to realize their body hair is 'beautiful'

Barbara has since amassed more than 5.8million likes and encouraged many to realize their body hair is ‘beautiful’ 

They said they do receive negative comments out of 'ignorance' or 'misogyny'

They said these are outweighed by the positives

They said they do receive negative comments out of ‘ignorance’ or ‘misogyny’, such as those from women saying they ‘need’ to shave, but these are outweighed by the positives

Barbara said their leg hair is pretty soft because they condition it and said if they're cuddling, boyfriend Jayvien will rub and play with it (pictured, together)

Barbara said their leg hair is pretty soft because they condition it and said if they’re cuddling, boyfriend Jayvien will rub and play with it (pictured, together)

‘I think it’s pretty interesting because I definitely do have more body hair than my partner, for sure, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

‘I just decided if I can have both of us [in the video] then it goes to show my partner has comfort in me, I have comfort in them, we’re comfortable together and able to deal with some of the hate that people spew while showing people how confident we are as a unit.

‘When I met him I had body hair and he completely appreciated and valued me from the start.

‘He just recognizes that every part of my body is part of Barb, and that’s the person that he loves. We both kind of just observe each other and in moments will admire all of the details, and I think that’s so beautiful.

‘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.’

The full-time student (pictured) said that after stopping shaving they had moments where they'd think "I feel awkward today, maybe I shouldn't wear this", but over time began to build confidence

The full-time student (pictured) said that after stopping shaving they had moments where they’d think “I feel awkward today, maybe I shouldn’t wear this”, but over time began to build confidence

Barbara said her boyfriend completely 'appreciated' and 'valued' them from the start (pictured)

Barbara said her boyfriend completely ‘appreciated’ and ‘valued’ them from the start (pictured)

Barbara said that the first time they ever shaved was in year five of school.

They never ‘obsessed’ over it and would only do so once every two or three months, until they became a competitive swimmer and always had to have their legs free from hair.

But the 20-year-old stopped shaving their armpits back in 2019 and completely stopped shaving their legs early last year.

The TikToker said they’d wanted to stop for two years prior to this but was in a relationship with someone who wasn’t ‘too fond’ of body hair, but they then met their new partner.

Barbara said: ‘The thought that was in my mind the very first time that I ever wanted to shave was that I had a crush on a guy and “oh my gosh, everyone around me has shaved legs.”

‘I remember asking my mom if I could shave just for my crush. When I look back on that now, I really hate that that was the mindset that I had when I first wanted to get into it because I realized that I was buying into societal norms.

‘What really fueled me to completely be myself was my current partner. When I first met him I talked about how I don’t like having to get rid of my body hair and really liking it and he was like “so, just don’t do anything with it, just leave it.”‘

Barbara said that when they first began using social media, they didn't see anyone with their body type or someone they could 'fully relate to'

Barbara said that when they first began using social media, they didn’t see anyone with their body type or someone they could ‘fully relate to’

So when the 20-year-old began gaining a following on TikTok they wanted to present their body to others their age and younger to show that those who don't conform to beauty standards, can still be appreciated

So when the 20-year-old began gaining a following on TikTok they wanted to present their body to others their age and younger to show that those who don’t conform to beauty standards, can still be appreciated

Barbara already had body hair when they met Jayvien and said having a partner who appreciated they as they came made them realize they could be themselves

Barbara already had body hair when they met Jayvien and said having a partner who appreciated they as they came made them realize they could be themselves

‘When we met I did already have body hair and just being with a partner who appreciated me as I came helped me to also realize “wow, I can be me and other people will appreciate that”, and that helped me take that final step to just never touch it again.’

The full-time student said that after stopping shaving they had moments where they’d think “I feel awkward today, maybe I shouldn’t wear this”, but over time began to build confidence.

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.’ 

Barbara (pictured) said: 'Now that I don't [shave] it feels super great because I'm able to be the person that I feel comfortable in'

Barbara (pictured) 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 feel like I have a great relationship with myself at this point and when I look in the mirror now I feel really proud.

‘I’m really big on talking about “past Barb” and “future Barb” and I just really like to think that I’ve made “past Barb” happy and they would be happy to see what I am now.

‘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 said that when they first began using social media, they didn’t see anyone with their body type or someone they could ‘fully relate to’.

So when the 20-year-old began gaining a following on TikTok they wanted to present their body to others their age and younger to show that those who don’t conform to beauty standards, can still be appreciated.

The 20-year-old stopped shaving their armpits back in 2019 and completely stopped shaving their legs early last year

The 20-year-old stopped shaving their armpits back in 2019 and completely stopped shaving their legs early last year

The TikToker (pictured) said they'd wanted to stop for two years prior to this but was in a relationship with someone who wasn't 'too fond' of body hair, but they then met their new partner

The TikToker (pictured) said they’d wanted to stop for two years prior to this but was in a relationship with someone who wasn’t ‘too fond’ of body hair, but they then met their new partner

Barbara has encouraged people not to shave their bodies anymore because they've come to realize they love their body hair and think it's beautiful. Pictured, Barbara's legs

Barbara has encouraged people not to shave their bodies anymore because they’ve come to realize they love their body hair and think it’s beautiful. Pictured, Barbara’s legs

The 20-year-old revealed they have received messages such as some who have said: "You've helped me to see myself more neutrally"

The 20-year-old revealed they have received messages such as some who have said: “You’ve helped me to see myself more neutrally”

They said they do receive negative comments out of ‘ignorance’ or ‘misogyny’, such as those from women saying they “need” to shave, but these are outweighed by the positives.

Barbara said: ‘When I made my first video about it there were a lot of comments like ‘oh my gosh I feel so represented’ and ‘wow this is cool, I’ve never seen this before’.

‘When I post or hashtag ‘cellulite’, ‘body hair’ or ‘love handles’, I think it’s important because I’m not posting it in a way that’s broadcasting it as a flaw or insecurity, but just as a part of me.

‘I’ve encouraged people in my life that I see on a daily basis to not shave their bodies anymore because they’ve come to realize they love their body hair and think it’s beautiful.

‘I’ve gotten so many messages like “you’ve helped me to see myself more neutrally,” “you’ve inspired me to stop shaving” and I had someone on my live the other day saying that they wore a bikini for the first time in their life because they saw me wearing one.

‘Things like that are so beautiful because that was my whole goal and intention when I started posting on TikTok.’ 

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