Born and raised in England, Harnaam Kaur was diagnosed at the age of 12 with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes the female body to produce elevated levels of male hormones. Signs and symptoms for PCOS vary, and for Harnaam, it resulted in hirsutism—a condition that causes excessive facial and body hair growth, which she spent a good portion of her early teenage years trying to remove in order to avoid taunts from her peers. At age 16, however, she decided to change her mindset and embraced her body in all its glory. Today, Harnaam is a motivational speaker and an advocate for diversity, self-acceptance, body positivity and self-love. Here, she shares her favourite reads that inspired her on her journey to body love.
My favourite book is… Karma Khullar’s Mustache by Kristi Wientge. It reminds me of my childhood and how, growing up as a young girl with facial hair, trying to conform or fit in was all I wanted to do—until I realised my worth.
The titles that have influenced me the most are… The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard and The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle. I reach for these books whenever I am feeling down and need a reminder that happiness comes from within.
When I need a confidence booster, I reach for… Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life by Humble the Poet. It is a reminder that we decide our own worth and that validation needs to come from the self. I also enjoy Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell and Things No One Else Can Teach Us by Humble the Poet.
The next book on my reading list is… Be a Triangle by Lilly Singh.
My favourite quote is from… Tell Me How to Be by Neel Patel. It goes: “Men are the head of the household, but women are the neck; they turn the head whichever direction they choose.” I love this as it illustrates how a man can make choices within the household, but only successfully with the direction of a woman.
If you are new to self-love, I recommend… Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on it by Kamal Ravikant. It is a good starting point for developing a healthy relationship with yourself. Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-love is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness by Vex King and Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson are also books that have shaped my mindset on accepting and loving myself.
1 / 10
Karma Khullar’s Mustache by Kristi Wientge
2 / 10
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
3 / 10
Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life by Humble the Poet
4 / 10
Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell
5 / 10
Things No One Else Can Teach Us by Humble the Poet
6 / 10
Be a Triangle by Lilly Singh
7 / 10
Tell Me How to Be by Neel Patel
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Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on it by Kamal Ravikant
9 / 10