Harnaam Kaur, is a pansexual British model, anti-bullying activist, body-positive activist, life coach, and motivational speaker who lives in London.
Kaur was born in the ’90s, diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) at the age of 12. It causes an imbalance in the hormones in the body. One of the symptoms of the syndrome Hirsutism.
This refers to excessive growth of body hair in men and women on parts of the body where the hair is normally absent or minimal. Its caused due to psychological distress, social difficulty.
After being bullied at school and beaten up, Kaur waxed her facial hair every 2-3 weeks. On some days she would shave her beard due to pain.
At the age of 16, she had the lowest point in her life and decided to end herself due to immense bullying in school.
“I remember sitting on my bed and thinking about taking my own life. But instead, as I sat there, I started to counsel myself. I told myself ‘The energy you are putting into ending your life, but all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better’.”
At that point, she decided to be herself and grew a complete beard and change society’s expectation of how a woman would look.
She also added “I have realized that this body is mine, I own it, I do not have any other body to live in so I may as well love it unconditionally. I have now fallen in love with the elements on my body that people may call ‘flaws’. I love my beard, my stretch marks, and my scars.”
“My beard has 100% become a part of my body. It is the source of my strength and confidence. People just see the beard as hair, but my beard for me is much more than that. I love my beard and forever cherish it.”
Being an Activist:
Kaur worked as a primary school teaching assistant before coming to media attention in 2014, when she started giving public interviews.
After she grew her beard completely, her activism started. She started empowering herself and people about body positivity through her voice, which is as unique as she looks.
Kaur became a full-time motivational speaker and a public figure, and a freelance model.
She has contributed to panel discussions in the “House of Parliament” on topics relating to mental health, body image, cyberbullying, LGBTQIA and how social media, businesses, schools, and the government can help with the development of positive body images.
Kaur also aims to challenge gender stereotypes in the media. She has said, “I don’t think I believe in gender. I want to know who said a vagina is for a woman and a penis is for a man, or pink is for a girl and blue is for a boy. I am sitting here with a vagina and boobs – and a big beautiful beard.”
Harnaam Kaur at the World Pride:
Harnaam doesn’t just speak to the community, she belongs to it.
Being giving talks for a decade, experiencing both highs and lows. New York for World Pride made it to the top of her best moments.
“It was just an iconic moment being able to use my voice and help add value to the lives of people that listen, To see 3,000 or 4,000 people in the streets just cheering. It’s one of those memories that you cherish forever, one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments.”
1. In March 2015, photographer Mr. Elbank included a photo of Kaur in his exhibit at Somerset House in London, which featured portraits of over 80 individuals with beards.
2. In June 2015, Kaur modeled for Rock & Roll Bride and was photographed by Louisa Coulthurst of Urban Bridesmaid Photography.
3. In March 2016, Kaur became the first woman with a beard to walk at London Fashion Week. She opened the show for designer Marianna Harutunian.
She has also signed a contract with Wanted Models in Paris and continues to be featured in fashion spreads in both online and print magazines.
4. In September 2016, her name got into the Guinness World Record as the youngest woman in the world to have a full beard.
Although being mistaken for a man, Miss Kaur says she feels more feminine than ever. Kaur hopes her story will help other women find self-confidence. She has decided to share her story on YouTube – and continues to upload videos despite receiving death threats.
Well, we salute this girl, for the way she rose over her struggle, and for sending a message to all the others, that beauty is way beyond the way you look and the way others look at you. Your true beauty is your confidence and your smile!