Discussing her kinship with @laetitiaky, she explains that the pair met in a Botanical Garden and bonded over both being ivorian and artists who have chosen to use art as a way to express themselves, find their identity and help others. “If we choose love & understanding we create a place for us to grow, and be one! I wanted to remind you all that you matter, that what you have to say matters, that your experience can heal others, and your kind words can provide support to those who need it and Sisterhood is important because Together we are Strong!,” she added.
The pair were flooded with positive messages in the comments section, with one follower writing: “Sooo beautiful. Brings me that much closer to accepting my own body hair,” and another adding: “It’s the internalized misogyny. Appreciate you being on this platform.”
GLAMOUR was so inspired by Esther that we featured her as a cover star of our self-love series in 2020. Speaking to us about how her body journey began, how she deals with social media trolls and what it’s like being a role model for people all over the world, she told us at the time: “In high school, I was very shy and insecure. I hated myself because not only was I too skinny compared to other girls my age, who were very curvy and desired by boys, I was also hairy. My mother use to make my sister and I stand in front of the mirror and repeat the phrases “I’m pretty, I’m smart and I’m beautiful” almost every day. She used to tell me that it would only work if I believed and said those words with confidence. Over time, I used her advice, it did help me love myself a little more but I had noticed that I wasn’t like other girls.
“I had chest hair, and a lot of body hair. No matter what I did, whether it was waxing or shaving, they seemed to grow back longer, stronger and blacker than before. In university, I stopped trying to remove my chest hair and simply kept it hidden, lifting up my shirt if it was too low and using every precaution to make sure that no one would see it. It became exhausting and I realised how my body hair issues were affecting me mentally.
“As an artist, art making was a way for me to express how I felt. I created a painting called You Must Suffer to Be Beautiful which was what my aunt and mother would tell me when my body hair had to be removed painfully. I had been going through these various procedures since I was 11, which is when I first started to get chest hair. It took me over ten year at the age of 22 to finally accept my body and to love it through prayer and working on myself.”
Let’s hope other people feel as inspired to embrace their body hair.