'Bearded lady' challenges beauty ideals in this incredible bridal shoot

By Kirstin Buick
01 July 2015

We are all so different, she says, and we should all celebrate our individuality.

In this elegant bridal photo shoot, Harnaam Kuar is doing just that.

A photo posted by Kat Williams (@rocknrollbride) on

The 24-year-old from Slough in the UK has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. POS is an endocrine system disorder that can cause major hormonal imbalances, which meant she started growing facial hair when she was just 11 years old. "I used to have my face waxed 2 to 3 times a week," she told Rock 'n Roll Bride. "On the days I couldn’t bare the pain I would simply shave.”
She was badly bullied at school, and her classmates beat her up more than once. As a result, Harnaam became "aggressively suicidal" and started harming herself. At age 16, she hit her lowest point. "I had been suicidal all year due to immense bullying from school and people in society. I hid away and did not want to venture out into the public. My bedroom was my only safe haven. I was hugely depressed. I remember sitting on my bed and thinking about taking my own life.
"But instead, as I sat ther, 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’.” She decided to embrace her beard, and proudly refuses to shave it to this day. Now, Harnaam thinks of herself as a "body confidence activist."
"I am happy living as a young beautiful bearded woman. 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.” Urban Bridesmaid photographer Louisa Coulthurst was intrigued by Harnaam's powerful take on self-love, and wanted to capture that in a photoshoot. “I first saw Harnaam’s portrait in the Beard Exhibition held at Somerset House in March,” she said.

"She was the only female in the exhibition. I then went online and Googled her and read up on her. 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. I emailed Harnaam and she was excited and wanted to get involved.”

The photos have since gone viral online -- and so has Harnaam's message.

"Love yourself, YOU are the only YOU that YOU have.”

Sources: rocknrollbride.com, urbanbridesmaid.com, buzzfeed.com

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