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Indian-origin girl in UK grows beard due to medical condition

Press Trust of India  |  London 

A 23-year-old Indian-origin girl in the UK, who has a condition that causes excessive hair growth, is challenging conventional ideas of female beauty by sporting a beard and says it makes her feel more feminine.

Harnaam Kaur, of Slough, Berkshire, has polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause excessive hair growth.

She was just 11 years old when a beard started to appear on her face and the hair quickly spread to her chest and arms.

The condition made her the victim of cruel taunts at school and on the street. She even received death threats from strangers over the internet, 'The Mirror' reported.

Kaur decided to stop removing her hair after being baptised as a Sikh - a religion in which it is forbidden to cut body hair.

"I would never ever go back now and remove my facial hair because it's the way God made me and I'm happy with the way I am," she said.

Kaur says she feels more feminine and has learned to love herself for who she is.

However, it took Kaur some time to embrace her condition. In her early teens, she was so ashamed of her beard that she resorted to waxing twice a week. She also tried bleaching and shaving.

But it only made the problem worse - the hair became thicker and spread.

At her lowest points she began self-harming and she even considered taking her own life.

"I got bullied badly - at school I was called a 'beardo' and things like 'shemale' and 'sheman'," Kaur said.

But now, Kaur said she feels more feminine than ever and chooses girly tops over baggy, high-necked jumpers.

"I wear skirts, dresses and jewellery and I like to get my nails done like every other girl," she said.

First Published: Tue, February 18 2014. 17:44 IST