Breaking the Barrier - Harnaam Kaur background img
October 13, 2016

Breaking the Barrier – Harnaam Kaur

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women, beauty, standards

Social media has the power to inspire and encourage and spread awareness like wildfire. Most of us use social networking to connect to friends and family. But for some, social networking has been used for a lot more. For plus-sized models like Tess Holiday, and motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez, social media has helped them to shine. Lizzie Velasquez once carried the label of the ugliest woman ever, because of her disability – she cannot gain weight no matter how much she eats. Today, however, she is a popular Youtuber whose videos have inspired millions. She is also a successful author and TED speaker. These are women who have dealt with self-hatred and bullying, and rose above their circumstances to become the outstanding role-models they are today.

The story of Harnaam Kaur also adds to this list of influential women. With over half a million followers on Instagram, Harnaam Kaur will seriously make you question your beliefs about beauty standards. This 24-year-old woman living in England faces criticism almost every day of her life but she has dealt with it and only become more and more victorious.
Around seven years ago, Harnaam Kaur suffered from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, that causes excessive growth of body and facial hair. She often tried to shave it off due to societal pressure. She even struggled with suicidal tendencies from the bullying she faced, but then, she decided to turn her life around.

She stopped shaving and followed the practices of the Sikh religion that forbade women from removing any body hair, but to live as god created them. This culture embraced all people for who they were. Harnaam decided to break all societal norms and stepped out boldly with a beard. Of course, she was stared at and ridiculed, but it did not matter to her anymore. If she did not get used to it now, she never would. She joined Tess Holiday’s “effyourbeautystandards” campaign three months ago and soon her photos went viral on the internet as she shunned those who ridiculed her and other like her. Harnaam recently made headlines as she shunned the body shaming bullies by walking her first fashion show sporting her beard with much pride at the Marianna Harutunian Royal Fashion Day.

With many revolutionary photo shoots, Harnaam has caused heads to turn. She has shown the world nobody can bring your self-esteem down unless you let them to. So the next time you crib about not leaving the house because of unshaven legs or pimples, don’t forget to shun these beauty standards and stand up for yourself, just as these brave women have. Join them in teaching society to “effyourbeautystandards”.

Follow Harnaam Kaur on Instagram at @harnaamkaur.

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