At age 10 Harnaam Kaur hit puberty and she got way more than she bargained for as she found out that with age came… quite a lot of facial hair.
Harnaam, a Slough native in Berkshire in the United Kingdom was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome according to WebMD is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance leading to unwanted changes in the sufferer’s appearance and serious health challenges when left untreated.
Harnaam health issues led her to attempting suicide at the young age of 15. She said as regards people’s reaction to her condition, “They called me everything under the sun, threatened me with knives and stabbed me with pens…I wanted to punish my body for looking this way. I wanted to hurt it.”
One fateful day, she emptied a bottle of pills into her hand. “It was my turning point.” She continues: “I thought, ‘If the bullies are allowed to live, why shouldn’t I?’ ”
The ‘lady beard’ as she likes to call herself tried to fight the hair initially before giving up and letting go. “It was horrible,” Kaur says. “The wax went on, then the paper, then they pulled. I screamed so loudly the woman getting her hair done in the next door chair threw her magazine across the room. I was crying my eyes out. I did that every other day because my hair grew so fast – and shaved in between. 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.”
Kaur has found solace in building her self-confidence and helping other women do same. That has earned her a spot in the Guinness Book of Records (2017) as the youngest female with a full beard in the world at the age of 24 years 282 days.
She has now become an anti-bullying and body image activist as well as a model signed on to Wanted Models, Paris gracing the fashion aisle of the London Fashion Week.
In the face of adversity, Kaur pulled through. Massive beard and all. So really, you with the normal amount of facial hair, what’s your excuse???
Written By Odinekachukwu Ishicheli
Images: thegauardian.com ; Harnaam Kaur