I LOVE MY LADY BEARD

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

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Arpita Kala ■ arpita. kala@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

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 In­di­ano­ri­gin 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 self harm­ing 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 m liv­ing my pur­pose, my aim is to help in­spire peo­ple all over the world, and I will do this till I die. We all have our likes and dis­likes, which is fine, but what isn’t ac­cept­able is when we are body shamed by media and the 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?”

PHOTOS: LOUISA COULTHURST AND CAS­SAN­DRA WAT­SON

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