This bearded bride shatters beauty standards

And she wore flowers in her hair: Harnaam Kaur, 24, poses for Rock N Roll Bride.

And she wore flowers in her hair: Harnaam Kaur, 24, poses for Rock N Roll Bride. Photo: Louisa Coulthurst/Rock N Roll Bride

Growing up in the UK, Harnaam Kaur was teased relentlessly from nursery right through to high school for having facial hair. Kaur suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which an imbalance hormones causes excess hair growth (affecting approximately half a million Australian women). As a result, she started growing a beard when she was 11.

 

For those of you lovely people who do not know me. I am harnaam kaur and i am a 24 year old bearded lady living in london. I have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome which has led to hair growth on my face and body. Years ago As a young teen i removed my hair daily due to pressure from family, society and school bullies. As the years went on i became tired of conforming to societies "rules" and i decided to not let bullying lead me to self harm and suicide...i decided to become grasp hold of my life, take control and be happy. I took the decision to keep my facial and bodily hair..i found the strength and confidence inside of me to be free and love myself as i was. I love my lady beard 💜 I stopped hating my body and i started loving every single part of me. I See beauty in everything....i see love in everyone...and i find love in every soul 💙 you are beautiful just the way you are xxx I am now free..i am now happy...i am now HARNAAM KAUR...i am in love! X #harnaamkaur #beardedlady #beardedwoman #beardedandbeautiful #beardsandtats #beardporn #beardlust #beunique #confidence #beauty #bodyconfidence #bodyconfidenceactivist #antibullyingactivist #effyournorms #effyourstandards #effyourbeautystandards #ilovemybeard #queenbeard

A photo posted by the official harnaam kaur page (@harnaamkaur) on

Kaur tried waxing, shaving and bleaching to hide the hair. "I used to have my face waxed two to three times a week," she told the blog Rock N Roll Bride, "and on the days I couldn't bare the pain I would simply shave."

As a teenager, she became depressed, started to self-harm and even considered suicide. Things changed when she was 16. Baptised Sikh, a religion that forbids cutting body hair, she decided to embrace her body as it was. "I told myself, 'The energy you are putting into ending your life, put all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better.'"

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I have decided to live my life happily, and this picture captures perfectly how i feel about the woman that i am today. We all go through tough times, and forever we get told that life is like a roller coaster with many ups and downs. We may feel like the heavy burdens of the world have settled themselves down on our shoulders. Always remember that yes, hard times will arrive, but they will also let themselves go. Everything on this earth has a time limit; our friendships, our relationships, happiness and sadness, how we feel about ourselves, even the food we eat, and most of all our emotions. There is a beginning and and end for everything. You may hear that darkness has to be present for the real stars to shine. Be that spark in the darkness around you, be that beacon of light that guides you to greatness. I promise you that you will be just fine x Love your life, love your body, love your soul, spirit, aura and personality because they are the only ones that you have. 💙💚💛💜 Picture: @heathershuker Makeup: @phantasykeely @maccosmetics Magazine: @thingsandink @morewhitequeen Jewellery: @gypsyeastjewels You can read my article in the Things and Ink magazine, link below. http://articles.readbug.com/?a=the-bearded-lady #harnaamkaur #beardedlady #beardedwoman #effyourbeautystandards #androgyny #androgynous #bodyconfident #bodyconfidence #bodyconfidenceactivist #antibullyingactivist #thedame #thebeardeddame #beardqueen #thingsandink #queenofhearts #androgynyqueen #genderqueer #feminist #diversemodels

A photo posted by the official harnaam kaur page (@harnaamkaur) on

"I decided to keep my beard and step forward against society's expectations of what a woman should look like," she says.

Now 24, Kaur is a body-confidence and anti-bullying advocate. Known as 'The Beaded Dame' on Instagram (and her own arm tatts), she serves to prove there's no one definition of beauty, and that our 'flaws' ought to be embraced. "These elements make me who I am, they make me whole, they make me complete."

Appearing in a recent photography exhibit 'Beards' at Somerset House in London, she caught the eye of photographer Louisa Coulthurst from Urban Bridesmaid Photography, who approached Kaur about modelling for a bridal shoot.

"I had always been intrigued by the thought of floral beards and a thought came to me of wouldn't it be cool to have a floral beard on a woman," says Coulthurst.

Kaur leapt at the opportunity. Wearing makeup, a white lace wedding dress and bright flowers in her hair, this is a woman who wholly embraces her femininity. "We are all imperfectly perfect," she says. "I wanted to show society that beauty isn't just about looking a certain way, we are all so different and we should all celebrate our individuality."