Harnaam Kaur is a 23-year-old woman living in England. Like many women (between 10-20% of those of childbearing age), Kaur suffers from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which has been known to cause excessive hair growth in some patients. In Harnaam’s case, her PCOS meant that with puberty came an unexpected development … she began to grow a beard.
After years of attempting to hide her facial hair and enduring name-calling and bullying despite her efforts, even to the point where she contemplated taking her own life, Harnaam decided to live as she is, beard and all, and she says she has never felt more feminine. With unwavering confidence, Kaur told Barcroft TV:
“This is me, this is who I am, it’s my inner beauty, it’s my outer beauty, it’s my oneness, it’s my wholeness, I’m different, and I’ve learned to accept it, fully.”
Watching Harnaam speak (and I whole-heartedly recommend you take a moment to watch the video above), it is obvious that she is absolutely at-ease with her decision to let her beard grow; she laughs easily as she talks about the confusion her excess facial hair can cause. By the time I was about a quarter of the way through her interview, I found myself focusing on her eyes and admiring her eyeliner, already forgetting about the thick beard just below. (She does do a really damn fine job with that eyeliner … I’m envious, I have to say).
I do not have a beard. There is nothing particularly noteworthy about the way I look. I was not bullied as a child for my appearance (well, there was a short stint in kindergarten where I was called Spock for my pointy ears, but my teacher quickly put an end to it and it never resurfaced). Still, I’ve never felt inherently feminine, as Harnaam now describes herself, and I’ve never felt completely at ease with my body and my wholeness, as Harnaam so eloquently put it. …continue reading…