No, this isn’t another tale of my dating disasters. I’m not that bad. I just felt compelled to comment after seeing the news stories this week featuring 11 year old Supatra Sasuphan from Thailand, who was reported as being ‘delighted’ at winning the dubious accolade of the World’s Hairiest Girl by the Guinness Book of World Records. Presumably this title has been left unclaimed since the sad passing of cousin Itt from the Addams Family some time ago, and accompanies the boy’s title held by Scott Howard who starred in the 1985 film Teen Wolf.
Little Supatra has thick hair growing all over her body. And I really mean all over – even her face. She is one of only 50 cases of Ambras Syndrome documented since the middle ages, when it was more common for those with such an affliction to end up in circus freak shows alongside Hunchbacks or as contestants on the medieval Britain’s Got Talent.
But, although Supatra claims to be happy with the new-found popularity that her fame has brought her, I worry for her well-being as she approaches her troublesome teenage years. Whilst most teenagers will be angst-ridden about another spot erupting like Mount Vesuvius or depressed about the latest haircut of heart-throb Justin Boober, Supatra will wondering if industrial strength Immac (Veet) is the answer.
As her friends will no doubt be praying for the ‘cool’ boys at school to ask them out to the latest emo gig, or to watch them in happy slapping action, poor Supatra will surely find that being ‘different’ is actually no fun at all when teenagers just want to fit in with the crowd. Teenage boys can be very judgemental, so who would have the compassion to see past the hair (no pun intended) to the girl underneath? She may never get the chance to offer the ‘I’m washing my hair’ excuse for turning down a date. Although if she did, I think that everyone would believe her.
For now though, I salute Supatra on her bravery, for banishing negative thoughts to the back of her mind and embracing her notoriety with a sunny disposition. I hope that, with support from her family and friends, she can continue to live with the acceptance of the hand that life has dealt her and overcome any problems that society throws into her path.