Imagine you’re in fifth grade and just starting the horror show that is puberty. Imagine you are the first person in your class to have facial hair. Now imagine you’re a girl.
Harnaam Kaur started growing hair on her face when she was just 11 years old. And this wasn’t just a stray chin hair — it was, well, a beard. Thanks to a medical condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the British elementary school student had an overabundance of male hormones coursing through her body. At a time when girls are sprouting up and told they’re growing into women, she was sprouting hair and growing what quickly became a full beard.
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As one would expect, her peers and even some adults were not understanding and she was taunted and bullied for her appearance. Eventually it got so bad she said she considered suicide. Thankfully, instead of that tragic ending, she found a happy beginning when she was baptized as a Sikh at age 16. As part of the religion is not cutting one’s hair — any of it — she decided to stop fighting her facial 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.
And now, at 24, she finally feels at home in her own body and said she feels more feminine than ever, enjoying dress shopping and manicures with her girlfriends. A far cry from her early days hiding in the shadows, now she’s a popular beauty blogger and model, sharing stunningly beautiful images on her Instagram. (Go follow her, now!)
But her journey to self-acceptance was not easy, and as a way to reach out to other women and girls with PCOS — it’s a heartbreakingly common syndrome, affecting one in every 10 to 15 women — she penned a letter to her younger self. Addressing herself as “Little Me,” she gives her child self the encouragement, love and hope she wished she’d had then. And what she writes about her body, her femininity and her life will inspire you, no matter what challenges you’re facing!
“Dear Little me, I have not spoken to you in such a long time. It’s your older self here writing you this letter. I hope you are well. I can see the struggles that you are facing; I can see it in your eyes that you feel like you don’t belong. I feel it in your soul that you are struggling and you need some guidance. You quiver at the sight of people, you shudder at the touch of a stranger, and you drag your lifeless body everywhere that you go. If only you could see your own self worth and the gems that you have embedded inside your own beautiful heart. You have a heart of gold and you will empower many one day. Don’t you see it? Can’t you see just how amazing and beautiful you are? You drag yourself through life in the shadow of an unconfident girl. When will the spark inside you flame up and thunder across your body? When will you realise just how wonderful you are? How long before you actually stand up for yourself and shout out your inner voice? You need to make it heard. You don’t see your self-worth, you don’t love yourself, and you haven’t embraced the compassion inside you that your soul is waiting for you to unleash. When will that time come when you unleash the real you? You need to speak louder, hold your head higher, make yourself be noticed, show people that you have a voice. You need to take strides with confidence; you need to be a bit prouder. Be proud of the beauty that you hold inside your body. Be proud of the strength that you have inside you that you will one day unleash.
I promise you that the world will one day read your story. You have no idea of just how many people will be inspired by your self-love, your strength, your self-empowerment. So baby sister, ‘Little Me’, find the inner strength to carry on living your life with pride. I know you want to end it all, I know you carve the sadness into your skin. Don’t you realise that your body loves you, can’t you see tears that your body is crying? Your body is telling you to stop as it sheds tears, tears of blood. Your body is such a blessing; your body carries your precious heart and your wonderful heart. If only you could see, if only you could hold your head up high. Open your big beautiful brown eyes and see; see what you have to life (sic) for, see what you are giving up and see the life’s (sic) that you will later safe (sic).
I can feel you self consciously quiver when you try to speak up, your eyes, your beautiful big eyes hide even before they lay eyes on another. Use your voice to speak of your difficulties, be brave and tackles (sic) your issues head strong. The strength that you have inside is enough to shake mountains. Use it; use it to help yourself and others. Focus on your bright future which I promise that you will definitely have.
You will grow up to be a gorgeous young woman who will shake the normal societal standards of beauty. You will grow to be an activist, and you will mature to help men and women all over the world. Your self-love, your beauty, your self-esteem, your confidence will help empower the masses to love themselves and their bodies. You will show people what beauty truly is, and yes dear little sister it is YOU who has the power to do that; you will do it with all of the strength and love inside of you!
Your soul will shine, your aura will flourish and your self-love for your future diverse body will win the hearts of compassionate people. I promise you, that you are a survivor and you will conquer all of your battles that you will face growing up with might. You have the inner power to do all of this, so I am positive that you are able to overcome all problems that you are facing right now. Be positive, know that you are able to fight against life’s battles and give it all that you have got, because Little Me you are fabulous, you are strength, you are confident, you are empowered and you are beautiful. All these qualities are embedded in you. Delve deep into your soul, reach for them and embrace them whole heartedly.
Dear Little Me.
Here I write you this letter hoping that you will read it and implant all the necessary lessons and messages into your heart and soul. This letter will be most important to you as you travel into the world of adulthood.
Dear Little Sister, little me,
I write to you this letter only to realise that you are now me that have (sic) Grown up into a beautiful self empowered young woman, and I can tell you one thing, you have done a very good job growing up. Thank you for going through all those battles and hardships with strength. Thank you for making me the woman that I am today.
I love you whole heartedly.