'Bearded Lady' Harnaam Kaur Makes History With Her Runway Debut

'Bearded Lady' Harnaam Kaur Makes History With Her Runway Debut

There have been a growing number of body-positive movements to encourage the embracing of all body shapes and sizes, regardless of what the media dictates of ideal beauty are. At the front of one such movement has been 24-year-old Harnaam Kaur from Berkshire, England, the ‘bearded lady,’ who has been an inspiration for many young women around the world and whose incredible photo-shoot had taken the internet by storm.

Last week, Harnaam made history and broke down prescribed beauty boundaries yet again when she became the first women to walk a major runway show sporting a full beard when she shimmied down the catwalk for Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Marianna Harutunian.

Walking with her head held high and dressed in striking black boots, a blue dress, eye-catching gold chains and a turban, Harnaam proudly carried a strong message of self-acceptance and confidence for the whole world to see.

“I was lucky enough to walk for @mariannaharutunian as the first bearded lady to walk for a celebrity jewellery designer,” she said in an Instagram post, adding,”I was humbled to be the first model to walk and open the show for #royalfashionday with the portrait of the legendary #davidbowie looking down on me!”

The self-proclaimed body confidence and anti-bullying activist made her modelling debut as a part of Royal Fashion Day in the United Kingdom. Talking about fulfilling her life’s dream she took to Instagram with a powerful message for all her followers: “I grew up watching America’s next top model.

I always wanted to be like the pretty models, so I remember copying the way they posed and walked. I grew up being told I was too fat, ugly, and disgusting to even model. I was told I’d never walk the runway. I used to look at models and tell myself that I will never ever be able to do what they are doing.

She adds,”I am not pretty enough or beautiful enough and I don’t have the ‘right’ body type. I was laughed at when I said I wanted to model. Jokes on my bullies.”

Harnaam has a hormonal condition which is said to affect between 5 to 10 percent of women aged 18 to 44 called polycystic ovarian syndrome. The criteria used to define the condition are still changing, the exact number of women affected is unknown, but it is estimated to be close to one in every 10 to 15 women, which is a very large number of women worldwide.

The condition caused excess hair growth for Harnaam, who first started to grow facial hair when she was 11 and would use hair removal treatments until she was 16. Having been bullied and shamed for a health condition she had no control over, she finally decided to stick it to all those who put her down and accepted her body as it was.

“I love my beard, my stretch marks and my scars. These elements make me who I am, they make me whole, they make me complete,” Harnaam told the wedding blog Rock ‘N’ Roll Bride. “My beard has 100 percent become a part of my body. It is the source of my strength and confidence. People just see the beard as hair, but my beard for me is much more than that. I keep my hair to show the world a different, confident, diverse and strong image of a woman…I love my lady beard and I will forever cherish it.”

Harnaam is not only a role model for other women who suffer from the same condition as she does, but women of all shapes, sizes and race, every woman who has ever been made to feel self-conscious and small because of the way they look, which is perhaps every one of us at some point of our lives. Her happiness and confidence radiate through the images and once you have a look at her stellar photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Harnaam Kaur via Instagram

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