Jesus Aceves was born with a rare condition that means he has thick hair all over his face. About 30 members of his family also have hypertrichosis making them almost certainly the hairiest family in human history. As a child, the thick, dark hair that covers his entire face quickly earned Aceves the nickname "The Little Wolf". He grew up in the small town of Loreto in north-west Mexico where, as a result of his appearance, his family was shunned by the local community. By the age of 12 he had started travelling from city to city to work at fairgrounds.
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An indigenous Mexican woman once described as the "ugliest woman in the world" has been buried more than years after her death and a tragic life spent exhibited as a freak of nature at circuses around the world. Born in , Julia Pastrana suffered from hypertrichosis and gingival hyperplasia, rare genetic disorders that gave her copious facial hair and a thick-set jaw. She became known as the "ape woman" after she left the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa in , when she was 20, and was taken around the United States by showman Theodore Lent, according to a Norwegian commission that studied her case. She sang and danced for paying audiences, becoming a sensation who also toured Europe and Russia. She and Lent married and had a son, but she developed a fever related to complications from childbirth, and died along with her baby in in Moscow.
Julia Pastrana was born in the s in Mexico, severely deformed and covered in hair, then became an international sensation. After she died in , her mummified remains became an equally public curiosity, and only now, years later, is she finally resting in peace. Inside the municipal cemetery of a small agricultural town on Mexico's central Pacific Coast, Laura Anderson Barbata is preparing to make an imprint of a tombstone. It's the kind of hot, sticky, and bright September day when thunderclouds can arrive in moments and bury the Sinaloan campo under a flood of muddy rapids. The cemetery is as chaotic as a Mexico City market — a jumble of large, ornate crucifixes and concrete crosses, of revolutionary Freemasons buried in silo-like crypts, and nameless bodies under sandy, unadorned plots.
Since we have been working with women in Mexico City to bring awareness to positivity around body hair. View all of our work featuring the Mexico City team, here. New to our team in , Brigitte looks forward to having a positive impact on other women who have hairy arms. View all of our work featuring the Mexico City team here.