24-year-old internet sensation Harnaam Kaur says she once contemplated suicide because of her facial hair, but instead chose to be proud of them.
Some of you may have seen her photos getting circulated on social media recently, and wondered why a girl with a full-fledged beard is posing in bridal finery.
Harnaam Kaur, the Indian-origin British girl, who won many a heart by fighting the stereotype of beauty, speaks exclusively to HT City and tells you her story. “I used to have my face waxed two to three times a week, and when I couldn’t bear the pain, I’d simply shave,” says Harnaam, who was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), that led her to grow out a beard at the age of 16.
“One day I hit my lowest point in life due to suicidal thoughts and selfharming incidents, but I decided I wanted to become a happier person. So, I fought back against society’s definition of what women should look like. We need to realise that each one of us is different. We are all imperfectly perfect. I wanted to show the society that we can all celebrate our individuality. I love my lady beard and I will forever cherish it,” says Harnaam.
About the bridal shoot for British magazine Rock n Roll Bride, that sent the Internet in a tizzy, she says, “The fashion team saw my picture and contacted me for a bridal shoot. I was very keen as I have never worn a white wedding dress, and neither do I know if I will ever have the opportunity to wear one officially. I jumped at the chance to do this shoot,” she says.
Harnaam takes her role as a body rights activist seriously and regularly shares inspirational messages with her followers on her Instagram account Harnaamkaur, and Facebook page The Bearded Dame. Yet, the negative comments often get to her.
“I do admit that I may waver when I read negative comments on the internet. I have to remind myself that I am living my purpose, my aim is to help inspire people all over the world, and I will do this till the day I die. We all have our likes and dislikes, which is fine, but what isn’t acceptable is when we are body-shamed by the media and society.”
Her fans in India regularly message her with their stories about the pressures to look a certain way, to which Harnaam says, “Asian women are beautiful. They look like real queens on their wedding day and yet, they are put under so much pressure to be the perfect bride. I find all women naturally beautiful.
I understand that brides want to look perfect on their wedding day, but to what extent do we need to go to fit into the ideas of society and normality?”