apdk/Flickr Harnaam Kaur converted to Sikhism, stopped shaving her facial hair and started loving her new look.
Harnaam Kaur from Slough in Berkshire, UK differs from others in this aspect. The 23-year-old woman of Indian origin was only 11, when a beard started to appear on her face. The excessive hair growth soon spread to other parts of the body, including chest and arms.
Soon, she was diagnosed with a common hormonal disorder known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Daily Mail reported. It is a common disorder in women that leads to irregular menstrual periods, acne, obesity and excess hair growth.
The Punjabi girl became a regular target for bullies both at school and streets; received death threats from strangers on the net. At last, Kaur decided to fight back but in a totally different way. She converted to Sikhism, a religion that encourages living the way God created human beings, mainly by not cutting hair their whole life. Kaur stopped shaving her hair and started loving her new look.
"I would never ever go back now and remove my facial hair because it's the way God made me and I'm happy with the way I am," Kaur told Daily Mail. "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."
Kaur also revealed that she was ashamed of her beard earlier and tried all methods available - including waxing, bleaching and shaving - to look normal. However, all these procedures intensified her hair growth, placing Kaur in a terrible mental state. She confined herself to the four walls of her house, and started showing suicidal tendencies.
It was a turning point in her life when she decided to become a Sikh at the age of 16. Though, her family did not support the decision initially, Kaur managed to convince her parents. "My mum and dad didn't want me to do it - they didn't think I'd be able to have a normal life if I had a beard," she said. "They worried I wouldn't be able to get married and that I'd never get a job. But I wanted to make my own decisions and live for myself - not anyone else. I'd had enough of hiding."
Though Kaur has overcome her difficulties and managed to get a job in a local Sikh primary school, living with a beard was not always easy for her. "I still get shop assistants calling me "sir" and strange looks from people - they see my beard first and realise I've actually got breasts too. It must be confusing for a lot of people," she explained.
Kaur expects her story to help and inspire other women struggling with the condition.
Kaur is not the only woman who has shown the courage to live with a beard. Last year, a German-born woman named Mariam, who has been growing beard since 2008, appeared on "This Morning show" on ITV and revealed that she is feeling sexier and more confident with the beard.