Ashley Graham made history in February by becoming the first plus-size model to make it on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That is absolutely amazing, but she's not the only "non-traditional" model making history.
Harnaam Kaur was the first woman to walk a major runway with a full beard. The British woman — who suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome — started growing facial hair at age 11, thanks to a hormonal imbalance common with the illness. She kept up with hair removal until deciding to embrace her natural state at age 16.
She's faced plenty of criticism in the years since.
"I always wanted to be like the pretty models… I grew up being told that I was fat, ugly, and disgusting to even model. I was told I’d never walk the runway," she wrote on Instagram last week.
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But jokes on them: Last week, she became the first bearded woman to walk in jewelry designer Marianna Harutunian's fashion show. "Walking the runway was incredibly liberating. I finally had my chance to show people my confidence and my ‘stick it to the norms of beauty’ attitude. I knew that people in the audience would either look at me in shock and surprise," Kaur told BuzzFeed.
And she killed it. Her self-assured strut is one we can all learn from — but she admitted it took practice to get there.
"During my lowest points of walking in public, I used to mentally prepare myself to be and look confident. ‘Harnaam, walk every path as if it were your life’s runway,’ and that is exactly what I did," she told BuzzFeed of the criticism she's faced.
It might have been her first show, but it definitely won't be her last.
"It is just amazing that I actually had the opportunity to walk the runway as the first bearded lady," she said. "I will walk many more runways for designers."
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