Harnaam Kaur from Slough, United Kingdom, is one of the most inspiring record-holders to grace the pages of the new Guinness World Records 2017 annual, holding the title of youngest female with a full beard.
The anti-bullying and body image activist has a fascinating story to tell as she overcame years of bullying to take ownership of her appearance and get awarded this record title at the age of 24 years 282 days.
Born on 29 November 1990, Harnaam first started to notice that she was growing facial hair at the age of 11.
She was eventually diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that means she has much more testosterone than most women which is what causes hair to grow on her face.
Harnaam used to remove all her hair, but says that once she decided to let it grow and accept her body the way it is, she felt empowered. Her beard now measures six inches long in some places.
In her application for the record title, the body positivity campaigner told Guinness World Records: “I didn’t realise how much my life’s journey of being a self-loather to a self-lover would inspire men and women in many different countries.”
2016 has been a huge year for Harnaam, after becoming the first female with a beard to walk the runway at London Fashion Week in March and having her portrait included as part of the photography series #Project60.
Harnaam describes her place in the Guinness World Records book as “absolutely humbling” and hopes it will help her to impart her inspiring message that it is okay to be different.
“I never really understood what role I had to play in this world as a bearded lady. As the years have gone on I have realised that I was born to stand up proud as a woman who promotes body confidence with in both genders, I was born to show the world something else apart from the ‘societies norm,’ and I was born to help people become confident and comfortable with in themselves,” she explains.