Let’s talk about being in a hairy situation … literally. Meet Harnaam Kaur, a bride with a peculiar look that is revolutionizing the internet, one social cannon at a time. This online sensation has embraced her beard years ago, at a time where women are still tightly oppressed under the magnifying glass of society’s beauty standards in which you can never get it right. It never seems to be enough. If you’re overweight and you call yourself ‘curvy’, you’re ‘promoting obesity’. If you’re wearing makeup that could easily be seen on Rupaul’s Drag Race, then you’re hiding your natural face because you’re ‘ashamed of being ugly’ or ‘covering your real self’. And if you stop shaving, like actress Monique did a while ago, then you simply ‘let yourself go’, or are just another feminist mascot parading your agenda around town. But what happens when you don’t change the social cannon to make a point, but due to an illness?
That’s exactly what happened with beautiful Harnaam, 23. She may be a breath of fresh air for some of us, showcasing a type of beauty that you will never see in any magazines for years, but the reason why she sports a bear is not to defy society. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, which causes excessive hair growth. And as you can imagine, bullying was part of the daily menu being served to Harnaan at age 16, which is when she started developing a beard. And when teenagers get bullied, their coping systems are not really developed and they start to take over the bullying themselves by criticizing their own bodies and looks. Thousands of dollars were spent trying to get rid of her now acclaimed looks that virtually make her one of a kind, despite it being a condition that has existed since ages ago. But after years of trying to deal with self-acceptance, she embraced her identity and converted to Sikhism, which is a religion that forbids cutting of the hair!
Ms Kaur let her hair down, (literally!) and started a journey of self love which eventually payed off. She was recently photographed for an exhibition that seeks to celebrate the world’s best facial hair. After the photoshoot, she stated on an interview : ‘When I first started growing my beard it was for religious reasons but as the years have gone by I’ve kept it for more personal reasons, It makes me feel like a brave, confident woman who isn’t afraid to break society’s norms.’ The world agrees with you, Harnaan!