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Bearded Icon Harnaam Kaur Stomps The Runway And Sticks It To Her Haters

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 1/03/2016 Nadya Agrawal
ATHENA IMAGE © THOMAS SAMSON via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

Harnaam Kaur, who is known for her distinctive beard and her body positivity, opened a show at Royal Fashion Day in the UK last week.

In an Instagram post from the Marianna Harutunian show, Kaur is seen walking the runway in chunky black boots, a navy blue dress, gold chains and her traditional Sikh turban, called a damala. In the caption, Kaur goes on to talk about her long-standing dreams to be a model.

I grew up watching America's next top model, and i admired @tyrabanks whole heartedly. 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 to 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. I am not pretty enough or beautiful enough and i dont have the 'right' body type. I was laughed at when i said i wanted to model. Jokes on my bullies. I was lucky enough to walk for @mariannaharutunian as the first bearded lady to walk for a celebrity jewellery designer. 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! Every path is my runway! Walk with your head up high and ooze confidence always! Xx (my lifes quote) Dreams to come true! A huge thank you to @usfashionsource and @mariannaharutunian for scouting me and allowing me to walk for the jewellery brand. 📷- @jamesalexanderlyon thank you James for capturing a precious moment. Jewellery by @mariannaharutunian Shoes- @jeffreycampbell spiked lita boots Makeup - @loribeemua Dress- @angeshowroom #harnaamkaur #mariannaharutunian #lorrainerobledo #londonfashionweek #lfw #royalfashiondaylondon #royalfashionday #beardedlady #bearderwoman #harnaamkaurdoesrunway #harnaamkaurdoesfashion

A photo posted by the official harnaam kaur page (@harnaamkaur) on Feb 22, 2016 at 6:57am PST

"I grew up watching America's next top model, and I admired Tyra Banks whole heartedly," Kaur wrote. "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 to [sic] fat, ugly, and disgusting to even model... I used to look at models and tell myself that I will never ever be able to do what they are doing. 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," she continued.

Kaur grew her beard when she was 11 after she developed polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder, and it used to be a source of shame for her. After years of self-harming, Kaur began to embrace her beard.

"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. My beard has 100 percent become a part of my body," Kaur told the wedding blog Rock 'N Roll Bride. "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.” 

Kaur has been a vocal proponent of body positivity and self-love. In November of last year she became a representative for fellow model Tess Holiday's social media campaign #EffYourBeautyStandards, where users are encouraged to love themselves regardless of what society deems to be beautiful.

"I joined the #Effyourbeautystandards team because I strive to raise awareness on Bullying and Body shaming that happens in society," Kaur wrote on Instagram. "I am passionate about helping both men and women find self love and body confidence with in themselves. As a Bearded Lady, I love portraying a diverse image in the media and society, to show that being different is OK."

Kaur was also recently a model for the London-based Urban Bridesmaid Photography. The photos from the shoot saw her proudly wearing flowers in her beard, and the series went viral.

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