Harnaam was just 11 years old when the beard started appearing and she spent her teenage years desperately trying to remove it. She would try to remove it by waxing twice a week.
The primary school teaching assistant endured vile abuse at school and would be stared at in the street. She became so self conscious she refused to leave her house, except to go to lessons. At her lowest point she began self harming and even considered taking her own life.
But at the age of 16, she found the courage to accept her facial hair after being baptised as a Sikh. The religion dictates that the body should be left in its natural state and body hair must be left to grow.
Harnaam was determined to show that she was beautiful no matter what she looked like.
I cannot in good consciousness share a post about the many ways in which Lupita’s beauty shines then overlook the one about how this woman’s does too. I stand in solidarity with everyone redefining beauty including those with traditional qualities willing to use what they have to share and bring goodness to those with differences and those with characteristics considered nontraditional who, even just through their existence, are breaking barriers and saving lives.