These Women Are Shattering The Stigma On Body Hair

Photo: Getty Images.
In 2015, we fell in love with Harnaam Kaur — a 26-year-old body positive activist, living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS, as it is often called, happens when women have a hormonal imbalance which can result in excessive facial hair.
Instead of hiding behind weekly wax appointments and messy shaving products Kaur embraced her condition and decided to wear a full beard (she’s even a Guinness Book record-holder). And many women living with PCOS are choosing to do that same.
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In an interview with Teen Vogue, Kaur along with two other inspiring young women, came forward to share their stories about body hair.
“I thought the bullying, physical and verbal abuse would stop if I was to remove the facial hair,” said Kaur about when she first began growing facial hair.
“I used various method to get rid of it, bleach, wax, thread, hair removal cream and I event used to shave; all this before I even hit my teenage years. I would be bullied for having facial hair, and then I was bullied for removing it too, ‘Look Harnaam is a man, she is shaving!’ people would shout at me. I hid away from society, became an introvert, I removed my facial hair, I even walked around in baggy clothes to hide the fact that I was a woman, this still wasn’t enough to stop me from getting bullied. I obviously had told teachers about what I was going through, that didn’t help at all.”
Teen Vogue also pointed out that while many men and boys can freely align themselves with the #BeardGang culture, girls and women are still forced to hide any hair deemed socially acceptable. Hair removal is absolutely a “form of gendered social control.”
“I'd definitively want to break the misconception that females with body hair are ‘unclean’, ‘unkept,’ or ‘impure,’” said 17-year-old aspiring author, Kiara Mae Beatrice Sloan.
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“I want people to realise that personal hygiene is just that... personal! It all depends on the individual. Someone with little to no body hair could easily have worst hygiene than someone who decides to keep their body hair. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder—and true beauty to me is being able to find beauty in almost anything.”
Shelby Riner, a 22-year-old Cookie decorator, shared a simple wish, that we can all get behind. “I want people to know that women are just as beautiful hairy!” she said. “I want people to focus more about inward beauty than conventional beauty norms.”
Head on over to Teen Vogue for photos of these women and more inspiring comments.
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