STYLE

Bearded Lady Harnaam Kaur Reveals Why She Posed For Beautiful Bridal Photoshoot

01/07/2015 16:00 BST | Updated 06/07/2015 15:59 BST

Harnaam Kaur is the inspirational 24-year-old who's redefining what it means to be beautiful - beard and all.

bearded woman

Kaur recently posed for a shoot for top bridal site Rock n Roll Bride where she's photographed by Urban Bridesmaid sporting an array of flowers in her beard.

Kaur told HuffPost UK Style she hoped the photoshoot would draw attention to the pressure brides - and in particular Asian brides - come under to look a certain way on their wedding day.

"Asian women are put under so much pressure to be the perfect bride, and when her wedding day approaches, she spends hours removing hair, applying different creams and moisturisers," says Kaur.

"Along with the excitement of a wedding comes the anxieties of bodily hair.

"I have seen the pressures that Indian women go through to become a bride, and it saddens me that they have to change their whole worlds and their bodies to welcome a husband and his family.

"I want to also point out that not all families are like this. There is a minority of families that are very accepting and loving, but still they are only a minority.

"I receive many messages from Asian women who are suffering from the taunts of their families due to bodily hair, especially facial hair.

"Why are Asian women being body shamed? Why can't a bride look the way she wants to? Why are there so many comments thrown about regarding women?

"We are all different and we should be able to celebrate out uniqueness whole heartedly.

"I find all women naturally beautiful. The photoshoot is all about love and compassion.

"I understand that brides want to look perfect on their wedding day, but to what extent do we need to conform to fit into the ideas of society and normality?"

bearded woman

Kaur, who has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), started to grow facial hair at the age of 11.

Struggling to deal with her sprouting beard, Kaur was bullied to the point where she began to self harm and, at one point, even considered suicide.

However, she has had quite the journey of self-discovery leading up to the bridal photoshoot, in which she wears a dress by Cutting Edge Brides, in Bexley, Kent.

bearded bride

"I remember sitting on my bed and thinking about taking my own life," she told Rock n Roll Bride.

"But instead, as I sat there, I started to counsel myself. 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’."

Prior to this revelation, Kaur would have her face waxed between two and three times a week, and on the days when she couldn't bare the pain she would shave instead.

PCOS is a condition which affects how a woman’s ovaries work. It causes women to experience high levels of male hormones called androgens, which can cause excessive hair growth.

Now Kaur says she's learned to accept her beard as being part of who she is. And she hopes to inspire others to do the same.

SEE ALSO:

Bearded Sikh Woman With PCOS Proudly Stars In Exhibition Featuring The World's Best Beards

Somerset House Beard Exhibition Isn't Just About Hipsters In Skinny Jeans

Woman On TLC's 'Strange Love', Who Suffers From PCOS, Deliberates Shaving Her Beard In The Name Of Love

The body confidence campaigner from Slough says that she is no longer unhappy and suicidal.

Instead, she has become something of a minor celebrity - starring in photoshoots, making an appearance on ITV's This Morning and racking up a mammoth 12k Instagram followers.

"Today I am happy living as a young beautiful bearded woman," she revealed. "I have realised that this body is mine, I own it, I do not have any other body to live in so I may as well love it unconditionally.”

After the gorgeous shoot, she wrote on Instagram: "Never be afraid of being who you truly are supposed to be.

"You are absolutely amazing just as you are. Never let the words and taunts of other break you or put you down."

Amen to that.

Somerset House Beard Exhibition