Harnaam Kaur On Being a Woman With a Beard: "I Have Power in My Voice”
At 12 years old, Harnaam Kaur was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, which prompts the growth of thick facial hair. As a result, Kaur has had a beard since she was 16 years old, something that has affected her life tremendously.
Kaur told The Guardian that prior to her diagnosis, her self-esteem was already fragile, as she was often taunted for being "fat" or a "Paki."
But many people may wonder, why not save the trouble and just remove the hair?
Kaur said she went through the painful waxing process, crying as she went to the esthetician every other day because her beard just kept growing. "They waxed it until my skin burned, going over the same patch again because some hairs were hard to get out. Then they would thread the raw skin, then pluck it."
By the age of 15, Kaur contemplated suicide because her classmates taunted her and stabbed her with pens. She wanted to give up and punish herself, but one day Kaur realized doing that would only confirm the bullies were right — to be ashamed of how she looks.
After tolerating years of harassment, Kaur turned herself into a body confidence advocate, model, and Instagram star, overturning gender norms and beauty standards.
Now almost a decade of having a "lady beard," Kaur can find people's reactions amusing. "They look at my eyes, then my beard, and then my boobs," she laughs.
Not only is Kaur the ultimate gender barrier breaker she has also broken the Guinness World Record for the youngest woman ever to have a full beard. She was also the first woman with a beard to walk in London Fashion Week 2016.
"They can try to make a freakshow out of me, but my voice and my message is much stronger than that. I have power in my voice."
Photo Credit: Getty Images