Appearance norms – facial hair

Harnaam Kaur
Photo credit: Huffington Post

Hats off to Harnaam Kaur! After enduring years of bullying due to her thick facial hair caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, she decided to stop attempting to shave, pluck, and bleach it out of existence, and for the last few years has had a full beard. Hats off too, to Harnaam’s brother, Gurdeep Singh (pictured above), who she says is her biggest supporter:

Kaur slipped once and shaved off her beard at the age of 17 after pressure from her extended family, but revealed: “All I could do was cry because I didn’t feel like myself without my beard.

“My brother was actually the one person who was completely shocked by what I had done – he hugged me and said I had looked so beautiful with my beard, he didn’t understand why I had done it.”

She added: “It was from that point that I thought I’m never going to remove it ever again.”

You can read more here.

5 thoughts on “Appearance norms – facial hair

  1. thanks for sharing this.

    my first impression of that photo was that her face was truly beautiful

    only on reading the message did i see the hair………..

    her courage is a beacon for all of us, to help us be our true selves despite fear-based prejudices against all individuality.

    how sad that it remains such a tragic challenge for humans to accept our uniqueness and humanness!

  2. I showed this story to my friends this morning, two educated young professional women… the questions they asked: “is she gay?”, “it will be hard for her to get married”, etc. I would consider these women both open-minded and accepting but when the gender norms are pushed to the extreme- they push back just as hard as anyone in defense of our societal norms and obsession with the gender dichotomy… what makes us slaves to our culture values? What prevents us from accepting the challenge and seeing her for her beauty and courage rather than turning our noses up?

  3. “I would consider these women both open-minded and accepting but when the gender norms are pushed to the extreme- they push back just as hard as anyone in defense of our societal norms….”

    Were your friends asking “in defense of” the gender norm re facial hair — or merely asking, in effect, whether Kaur seemed to acknowledge the range of practical ramifications of her non-conformity?

Comments are closed.