Harnaam Kaur is a 23-year-old teaching assistant from the U.K who has no problemo rocking a beard. Although it wasn’t always easy, as a kid she was teased, tormented and called names like “beard-o” and “she-male.” The reality is that Harnaan suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which is a common ailment that can sometimes result in extra facial hair. The cruelty of her peers resulted in Harnaan self-harming, contemplating suicide and feeling ashamed of her body as a teenager.
Can you imagine a scenario where literally just being yourself warranted nasty comments and stares from strangers? Harnaan would wax and shave her facial hair until she was baptized as a Sikh when she was 16. Those of the Sikh religion believe the body is beautiful as is and that body hair should remain unaltered because being au naturale and unchanged is as beautiful and sacred as it gets.
Harnaam wanted to abide by the religion’s tenants but gave into social pressures soon after and shaved her beard, she said, “My brother was actually the one person who was completely shocked by what I had done — he hugged me and said I had looked so beautiful with my beard, he didn’t understand why I had done it. It was from that point that I thought I’m never going to remove it ever again.”
After committing to her natural appearance Harnaam became a more confident person, “I feel more feminine, more sexy and I think I look it too. I’ve learned to love myself for who I am nothing can shake me now.”
Everyone is entitled to look exactly how they want and shouldn’t be bullied for those choices. Harnaam still keeps it real and acknowledges that rocking a beard isn’t the easiest life to choose, “I haven’t found a potential husband yet. I still get some grief … and it does still seem to be a barrier to marriage, but I’m young and there’s still plenty of time for that. All that matters to me at the moment is that I love myself. I love my beard and all my other little quirks –- my tattoos, my scars, stretch marks and blemishes.”
Now that is what I call body positivity.
[Via Huffington Post.]