Yesterday Harnaam Kaur – nicknamed ‘the bearded bride’ – went viral online after several gorgeous snaps of her and her stunning flower beard were posted online. But what might have been interpreted as a circus event by the underbelly of the internet was reclaimed by Kaur as a reason to feel beautiful, and her message of self-love was heard loud and clear.
Kaur was born with polycystic ovary syndrome, an endocrine disorder that causes major hormonal imbalances in the body, which at a young age caused Harnaam to end up with more male hormones in her body than female ones. While most pre-teen girls were bemoaning their height, Kaur began sprouting facial hair at the tender age 11. “I used to have my face waxed two to three times a week,” she told Rock N Roll Bride, “and on the days I couldn’t bare the pain I would simply shave.”
While she now embraces the things that make her different, when she was younger and heavily bullied in school, Kaur resulted to self-harm and even considered suicide.
“At the age of 16 I hit my biggest low, ” says Kaur. “I had been suicidal all year due to immense bullying from school and people in society. I hid away and did not want to venture out into the public. My bedroom was my only safe haven. I was hugely depressed. 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, put all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better’.”
And just like that, the same parts of her body that she once loathed came to define her as a body-confident, anti-bullying activist who now pushes others to truly embrace who they are. “My beard has 100% become a part of my body. It is the source of my strength and confidence.”
Harnaam’s portrait was hanging in a Beard Exhibition held at Somerset House when Urban Bridesmaid photographer Louisa saw her and dreamt of shooting her with flowers intertwined in her beard. After Louisa contacted Harnaam, the activist jumped at the opportunity to use her image to help inspire social change.
I tried being societies version of normal once. It was the worst decision that i had ever made! I love being a bearded lady, a gender bender, a body confidence activitst and an anti bullying activist. My passion is to show everybody that we are all beautiful in our own perfect way. Our beauty shines from the deepest pit of our heart! We radiate love and compassion! And we shine like the gems that we hold within us x Remember to celebrate your individuality and embrace it with an open heart! Xx ????????❤???????????????? Image: @kezcoo Make up: @norabelovai #harnaamkaur #beardedlady #beardedwoman #beardedladypride #effyourbeautystandards #bodyconfident #bodyconfidence #bodyconfidenceactivist #thedame #thebeardeddame #queenbeard #queenofthebeards #queenofhearts #beardlove
“Love yourself, YOU are the only YOU that YOU have.”
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