Low Note

Sydney’s morning routine didn’t start like her girlfriends’. She stood in front of a bathroom mirror, splashed her face with warm water, squirted a dollop of shaving cream on her palm, lathered up her face and began to shave.

Until recently, Sydney’s face was hairless, like any other teenage girl. The whiskers had begun as a few strands on her chin. She shrugged it off. Her grandma and aunts had some hair on their chins, too. Perhaps this was just part of growing up, she thought.

But now it was impossible to ignore — it had become a beard. When she skipped a morning shave, her classmates noticed. They called her “bearded lady” and “circus freak.”