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Woman with a beard says she’s abused daily in shock new documentary

Bearded woman who stars in a new reality show about ‘Extraordinary People’ – including a man who CHOSE to have his leg amputated – reveals strangers tell her she should be killed before she has children

  • Harnaam Kaur, 27,  can grow a beard because of her Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • The woman from London suffered relentless abuse because of her condition
  • Rachael Reynolds’ body is covered with benign tumours that make people stare 
  • They share stories with nine other extraordinary people in new Channel 5 show  
  • House of Extraordinary People airs tonight at 10pm on Channel 5 
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A British woman with a beard reveals how strangers grope her in public and tell her to kill herself, in a new reality show about people with incredible bodies. 

Harnaam Kaur, 27, from London is one of the participants in The House of Extraordinary People, which airs on 5Star at 10pm tonight.

The show follows nine people from around the world living together in a house in Bewholme, Yorkshire, for 10 weeks for a Big Brother-style reality show.

She is joined on the show by Dan Cooper who suffers from a body integrity identity disorder, and never felt ‘two legs belonged on his body’, leading to him choosing to have his healthy left leg amputated in 2004. 


Harnaam’s oozes confidence and says her beard makes her ‘unique,’ but the young woman has also been experienced serious abuse because of it, which led to depression and considering self-harm


A mother-of-two, Rachael struggles with showing off her skin in public and challenges herself with a trip to the local swimming pool with fellow house-guests 


Dan Cooper suffers from a condition called ‘Body integrity identity disorder’ or ‘Body Identity Disphoria.’ Dan decided to have his healthy left leg cut off and now uses a prosthetic leg 

Also appearing on the show is Bashir Azizâ, 24, from London who has vitiligo, a condition where white patches form on the skin. Vitiligo is usually permanent, but not for Bashir, whose white patches are gradually disappearing.

As she introduces herself on the show, Harnaam reveals: ‘People think I’m trans or that I’m in drag. I get mistaken for a man all the time.

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‘I’ve heard everything about me, nothing shocks me anymore, if you’ve got an issue, look away.’

Harnaam was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome as a teen, and the side effect of excessive hair growth meant she was able to grow a beard. 

Instead of shaving, Harnaam decided to rock the beard with make up, floral dresses and thick eyeliner. 


 Ted Parrotman decided to change his appearance to resemble his favourite animal, a parrot. Ted went through several body modification procedures, including cutting off his ears 


Rowdy Burton, 31, from Alabama, was born with a lower spine condition. When he was three years old, Rowdy was amputated and had to learn to use his hands as legs 

 The unusual condition puts Harnaam through abuse and assumptions about herself. 

‘I’m not scared of anything,’ she says upon arriving at the house. 

She very quickly impresses her fellow house-guests by her confident attitude.  

‘I forget that I have a beard sometimes,’ she tells the others. ‘If someone was to stare or say something, I would almost be like “What are you staring at?” and then “oh duh.”‘ 

Harnaam say she only got rid of her beard once, because of the pressure from loved ones when she was 17. She said she immediately regretted shaving it off and decided to keep it in the future. 

‘I took away something that makes me so unique, that made me “me,” and I gave in when I should have been strong.’

However, Harnaam’s confidence cracks during a night out with other participants on the second day of the show.  

Reality show participants talks about their different appearances on This Morning


Rachael Reynolds, 43, and Harnaam Kaur, 27, spoke about their experience on the upcoming Channel 5 show The House of Extraordinary People on This Morning

Two participants in a new reality show appeared on This Morning today to talk about what it’s really like to look ‘different’ from everyone else.

Rachael Reynolds, 43, and Harnaam Kaur, 27, spoke about their experience on the upcoming Channel 5 show The House of Extraordinary People.

Rachael, from Huddersfield was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a condition which causes benign tumours to grow all over her body, meaning she’s always dealing with people’s stares.

Harnaam was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome as a teen, which has enabled her to grow a full beard, but she said she hopes the show will teach people not to ‘treat us differently.

‘Just because we look different, don’t treat us differently,’ she said.

Both women said they did not want to be called ‘freaks’ and felt they were not ‘freaks’ to begin with.


Rachael, from Huddersfield was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a condition which causes benign tumours to grow all over her body, meaning she’s always dealing with people’s stares

The show’s self-described ‘fabulous bearded lady’ is also a body positive activist, a life coach and an anti-bullying activist.

‘There’s only one rule I live by, and it’s “my body my rules,” she said. ‘I just gave myself the liberation to do what I want, say what I want.

‘This life is yours to live, I’m not here to live it for anyone but myself.’

It was Harnaam’s second visit to This Morning. Back in 2015, she admitted on the show that she had once been bullied so bad she had contemplated suicide.

‘It was cruel, I’ve been though a lot, a lot of abuse and a lot of trauma,’ she said, ‘I’m not the victim anymore, I’m the victor and I want other people to be that too.

Rachael said her experience in the house pushed her not to feel negative, saying: ‘Everybody in the house is different and nobody was judging me.’


Harnaam Kaur was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome as a teen, which has enabled her to grow a full beard, but she said she hopes the show will teach people not to ‘treat us differently

Philip Schofield pointed out that the show has been criticised ahead of airing, for ‘hiding’ these nine people in a house away from everybody else to ‘make themselves feel better.’

‘I don’t think it was to make ourselves feel better,’ Harnaam said.’I think it’s got more the fact that we are very different, and we are united in one way,’

‘And we do go through similar experiences and here we are, but not hiding, helping each other. We’re not hiding, we’re on TV.

‘It takes a really strong person to say that, and they were all amazing people, and value everyone that I met so highly.’

Harnaam and Rachael both said they felt viewers would tune into tonight’s premiere both to learn and out of sheer curiosity.

‘Some people will be interested and want to learn, but some people are going to mock it, Harnaam said.

‘But it takes a strong person it while it takes a very insecure one to mock something,’ she added.

‘I have been groped in public,’ she says. ‘Rowdy men think it’s funny to grab my beard, and that’s really disrespectful.’ 

She adds that people have sometimes said ‘kill her before she has children,’ and admits this abuse deeply impacted her mental health and led her to consider harming herself and depression. 

When a group of strangers joins Harnaam and her fellow house-guests in a pub, her social anxiety takes over and the young woman looks increasingly uneasy. 


From left to right: Bashir Azizâ, 24, Dan Cooper, Harnaam Kaur, 27, Kristin Riley, 36, Aly Stosz, 29, Rachael Reynolds, 43, Ted Parrotman, and Lucas Hayward

‘I just didn’t feel comfortable, ‘ she tells the camera, ‘I’m sure they’re lovely guys’.

‘I get very bad social anxiety sometimes around people that I don’t know.’ 

The next day, Harnaam has a heart-to-heart with housemate Rachael. 

‘If I go out with no makeup and wear plain black clothes, no one says anything to me because they think I’m a boy,’ she reveals.

‘If I go out wearing like a floral dress, that’s when people get confused and that’s when the mocking starts.’ 

‘I have to calculate everything: “Am I strong enough to wear a red dress with red lipstick today and be mocked by the public?”.’ 


Harnaam is a body positivity activist, a life coach and an anti-bullying activist. IN 2015 she said she was bullied so bad, she contemplated suicide, but she wants to help other people being confident with themselves 


Harnaam Kaur, 27, from London, was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome when she was 12. The condition gives her the ability to grow a beard

 In addition to Harnaam, viewers are introduced to Dan Cooper, an amputee with a strange condition. 

Everyone in the house is immediately very interested in Dan’s story and why he joined the house. They grow even more intrigued as Dan is reluctant to open up about his past and prefers to say he’ll get to it “in time”.’  

Fellow house guest Rachael suspects Dan might have gone through a ‘”quite traumatic’ experience, while Aly and Bashir say they are very impatient to hear it all. 

At first, all we know of Dan is that he was in the Vietnam war.  It takes him three days to gather the courage to open up to his housemates. 


Rachael Reynolds, 43, struggles with her self-confidence since she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a condition which causes benign tumours to grow all over her body

‘Usually I’m OK with anybody,’ Dan tells the camera,’ but here, since we’ve learned to know each other and care about each other, it might actually make it more difficult.’

However, the war veteran is determined to tell his story. 

‘I said later and now is later,’ he starts once he’s gathered all his new friends in the house’s dining-room.

‘I never remember having thought that two legs was really belonged on me.’

Dan then reveals he suffers from a condition called ‘body integrity identity disorder,’ a condition that was first diagnosed in 2004. 

He adds: ‘There was no record of anybody ever being treated for this, other than surgery.’ 

‘The reason my leg is off is because I chose to have it off,’ Dan finally reveals. 

The news is a bombshell for the others who struggle to understand Dan’s condition.

‘If you want to hear about gobsmacked, this is exactly it,’ says Bashir, ‘Honestly, it’s the first time I’ve heard of something like that.’  

‘I’m just trying to wrap my head around it,’ Rachael says.  

Kristin is particularly upset with the revelation and says ‘we’re supposed to love ourselves.’


Bashir Azizâ, 24, from London. Bashir stands out with his vitiligo, a condition where white patches form on the skin. Vitiligo is usually permanent, but not for Bashir, whose white patches are gradually disappearing

The house counts nine people in total. 

In addition to Harnaam, Dan and Rachael, we’re introduced to Rowdy Burton, 31, from Alabama who was born with a lower spine disorder which led to a double amputation when he was just three years old. 

‘I was born with legs’, he explains, ‘but they were going to grow funny, and then always be in the way.’

Rowdy had to learn to use his hands as legs and can even skate board. 

‘I would like to change the assumption that I can’t do things,’ he says, ‘You might be right, but give me the chance to show that, not just assume it.’

Two women arrive next: Kristin Riley, 36, and 29 year old Aly Stosz. Kristin is 3ft5 ‘and a half’ while Aly stands at 6ft9. 


Kristin Riley, 36, was born with microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II. She is 3ft5 and a half tall and says people sometime pick her up without her consent

Kristin was born with the growth restricting condition microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II. 

‘I own it,’ Aly says of her impressive size, ‘ but I try to be graceful and considerate as much as I can be.’

Another participant to completely own their appearance is, Ted Parrotman. Ted decided to change his appearance to resemble his favourite animal. He dons feathers as a beard and tattooed the entirety of his face with colourful spots to resemble the animal and had two small horns placed on his forehead. 

Ted went through several body modification procedures, including cutting off his ears. His eyes are red and blue.

‘Society, they judge people on their appearance,’ he says. ‘People think that I am a freak, or a bad person, if I can change that, it’s got to be good.’   

Lucas Hayward, who joins the house on day two, has undergone numerous surgeries to alter his appearance after he was born with an ‘overdeveloped’ face. 

As a baby Lucas had two peaks to his nose. He says the condition was similar to a cleft palate, but with his nose instead of the lips. 


Aly Stosz, 29, stands at 6ft9, but says she owns her impressive size. Aly was harshly mocked at university but now thrives and stands out with her art


Lucas Hayward, who joins the house on day two, has undergone numerous surgeries to alter his appearance after he was born with an ‘overdeveloped’ face

House of Extraordinary People airs at 10pm tonight on Channel 5.

What is body integrity identity disorder?  

Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) or Body Integrity Disphoria is a condition where people with healthy limbs and organs have the wish to be medically disabled or are uncomfortable with their bodies

In some cases, the condition will lead to amputations and self-harm, however, there are case reports that BIID persisted even after amputation 

The symptoms of BIID usually appear in adolescence   

The cause of BIID is unknown, and there is ongoing research to try and determined why it happens  

The condition is very rare and there is no treatment, anti-depressants are sometimes used with relative success

Research provisionally found that people with BID were more likely to want removal of a left limb than right 

Source: The bodily self and its disorders: neurological, psychological and social aspects, Brugger, P; Lenggenhager, B

 

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