Going only by her first name, the 49-year-old mother of one, recently gained notoriety by appearing on Britain’s ITV.
Explaining hairs started sprouting from her chin at the age of 21 after the birth of son, Mariam first tried to conform to societal beauty norms by plucking them out each morning and having electrolysis done.
“My chin got really red and inflamed from all the plucking, and some of the hairs were ingrown, so it always looked like I’d fallen on my chin,” the woman of German-Iranian heritage told ITV. “But when people asked what had happened and I told them they couldn’t believe it.”
But some five years ago, she decided she would accept her furry fate – and fight for more tolerance. Mariam, who now lives in Britain, started a blog to explain what she was going through.
“One day I realized that the hair on my chin belongs to my body and that it should be there,” she wrote. “Today I am happy to have had the chance to live with a beard,” she wrote on her blog. “It is an experience that has taught me a lot!”
Not everyone can cope with her groomed goatee as well as she does, however.
“Some people say people like me should be sent to Russia or shot, but that’s just one person on the internet writing horrible stuff,” she told ITV. “Other people say it’s courageous and inspiring. So there are both sides.”
Mariam also said she was looking for someone to love her as she is.
“There are always people with a fetish who might only be attracted by the beard, but that is the same with lots of things, even if I were a blonde woman,” she said.