How I beat my bullies by Harnaam Kaur

Dealing with bullies

I have had to deal with bullying and discrimination for the majority of my life. Bullies tend to find anything to pick on you about due to their own lack of self-esteem and confidence. Bullying is a game of ‘who has more power over another,’ and to win, one must exert their dominant power over others. I can honestly say that it is a very weak game to play.

I was hated in school. I endured years of bullying and ridicule. I was in such a depressive state that I started to self-harm. I was suicidal. I hated my body so much because it was the reason why I was hated so much, so I started to punish myself.

I learnt very early on that people hate what they don’t understand, and that when people have hardly built a relationship with themselves, they will absolutely try to wreck the one you have with yourself.

I had to grow tough skin.

"I have spent many years building a wonderfully loving relationship with myself"

Being kind to myself

I told myself ‘if you want to grow your beard out fully and look this way, you better be ready to endure all the abuse that this world throws at you for the rest of your life. If you truly want to go through life as a Bearded Lady, you better fight for the right to live every single day.’ I tell myself this every time I feel down, or feel like this world is just too much.

I am strong enough to endure everything that life throws at me because I have spent many years building a wonderfully loving relationship with myself; I am tough and powerful. You do not have to take any ridicule that you may go through. Speak up and talk to your loved ones. You do not need to suffer in silence. I promise you that you are not alone. We are more similar than you think.

People tend to speak on self-love a lot. I have tried to stop. I believe that we need to start off by being kind to ourselves and build a relationship with who we are, and try to find our purpose.

Self-love takes a lot of strength, and the strength comes from deciding to be kind to ourselves first

I want to take the focus away from the hair/beard, because I am a woman first. I am a person and the beard is an extension of my being. I simply tell people to live by the rule ‘My body, My rules.’ This is the one rule I wholeheartedly live by, and it’s a rule that liberates me to be who I want to be, in a world that expects me to conform.

I am Harnaam Kaur, and my body is unique to me.

Where to find support

You can find lots of advice on bullying and support online. You could start by visiting Childline and Young Minds

Dealing with bullies: advice from those who’ve been there
Jesy Nelson: Beating my bullies
Learning to love the skin you're in