Harnaam Kaurhas been speaking out about her journey with PCOS on social media for some years now, and now the activist opened up to OK! about what that looks like and the hurdles she’s faced along the way.

Harnaam, 31, has always been vocal about her diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome and the impact it's had on her physical and mental health.

While many have referred to Harnaam as the “bearded lady”, the sometimes negative connotations that come with being identified by her physical appearance have led to extreme trolling.

“I still get abuse. I still get the death threats and abuse in public if I'm at events,” she explained. “Being bullied by kids or young adults is hard within itself, but then you delve into the adult world and you realise adults are worse.

“These threats are just not just threats. It does have a mental sort of impact as well.”

Harnaam previously appeared in Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over: Body Positive Warrior and for the show Harnaam was dubbed as an “inspirational body positive advocate”.

While she says she doesn’t want to spend years “crying over her body”, Harnaam is far from accepting herself: “I wouldn't say I accept it because if I had the choice of do you want it or not, I'd be like no.”

PCOS is a condition that affects how women’s ovaries work andaccording to the NHSit affects one in 10 women in the UK.

Many women suffer from the condition that can cause irregular periods, weight gain, acne and excessive hair growth.


Harnaam recalls being diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 12 and the long name of the condition led her to believe she had “some rare disease”.

“As I grew older, I realised that so many people have it, even celebrities, but they don't speak up about it”.

She adds that while many known faces do have PCOS, Harnaam “doesn’t know” why they don’t speak up about their diagnosis.

One of the side effects of polycystic ovary syndrome is excessive hair growth andHarnaam previously spoke to OK! about the hours she spent getting her face waxed.

She decided to grow her beard out and went to school for sixth form with a full beard – and has kept it since.

Speaking now about how she feels about being referred to as a “bearded lady”, Harnaam accepts that “I am a lady and I have a beard”, but the emphasis on her being a woman with facial hair can be disheartening.

She said: “It's the easiest thing to basically point me out through a physical characteristic.

“It's weird because I won't turn around and be like ‘oh there's a bearded man’. So I guess it's just another label that people have on me so that it makes it easier for them to understand what I am, who I am. It's just another label.

“I hate it if someone in the street was to turn around and be like, ‘there's the bearded lady we read about’.”

Harnaam is now speaking about her diagnosis and hoping that she is bettering the life of someone with PCOS at the same time.

This summer the activist will be hosting a retreat for people with PCOS and explained: “I know that so many people struggle with it, so say to myself it's a real injustice [to not speak out] because someone out there is struggling”.

She has been using her platform to educate people and help them “come to terms” with their diagnosis and while Harnaam laughs that she fell into it, being able to “speak her truth” and connect with others has been “amazing”.

Harnaam is working with Estrid as part of its HumanKind Initiative – a powerful new drive to fund underrepresented groups and champion impactful change. As part of the initiative, Harnaam will receive a £25,000 grant to further support the PCOS community.

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