Portrait of a Bearded Lady

A solid bit of human-interest journalism from the Ventura County Star.

By day, Dakota Cooke works for a record company in Thousand Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles. On her own time, she maintains a private Facebook group for bearded women and has begun notching TV appearances.

A photo posted by Ozzy Osbourne (@ozzyosbourne) on

Per a compelling front-page story in this past Sunday’s Ventura County Star, Cooke, having decided to embrace the effects of an adrenal glandular disorder, has appeared on the recent season finale of the Starz series Blunt Talk and will be profiled in an upcoming episode of MTV’s True Life. She also, per the photo above, was part of the 2016 edition of Ozzfest.

It’s all the more remarkable, given what Cooke was forced to endured in 2012. From Amanda Covarrubias’ piece:

Cooke was the victim of a date rape four years ago, an experience that plunged her into depression and triggered uncontrollable anxiety. She attempted suicide and soon checked herself into a psychiatric hospital.

Over the next 72 hours, she bonded with the other patients in her unit. Their struggles seemed to mirror her own. “I think being in the hospital is what helped me,” she said, “seeing and connecting with these people.” Slowly, she came to embrace her size and shape, opening the way for her next stirring.

Stories like these are what make people still thankful for local newspapers. Read the rest here.