A US Sikh student's dignified response to a tasteless post making fun of her facial hair has earned her a legion of fans.
A man took a photo of Balpreet Kaur and uploaded onto Reddit in the 'funny' category with the tagline
'im (sic) not sure what to conclude from this', Daily Mail
The aspiring neurosurgeon discovered the picture - which shows her standing in a queue - and, instead of flying into a rage at the person behind the cheap dig, she posted a comment explaining why she didn't remove her hair.
Balpreet, an Ohio State University student, said, "I'm not embarrassed or even humiliated by the attention [negative and
positive] that this picture is getting because, it's who I am.
"Yes, I'm a baptised Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realise that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women."
She refused to attack the person who had posted the photo, which many viewers accused of being mean and deliberately trying to draw laughs at Balpreet's expense.
Balpreet said to the original poster that if he had wanted a picture he should have just asked and she would have smiled, and invited people to say hello if they saw her on the University campus.
Her eloquent response to the person behind the picture drew her an army of fans, who called her an 'inspiration' and 'awesome'.
Some wrote to her to express their concern that her body hair might be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome, which can prompt excessive body hair in the patient.
But, again, the student replied to their responses, assuring them her doctor had said it was just her hormones.
"I've been to the doctor regarding this and its just a side effect of my hormone levels during my teenage years.
"The hormones have returned to normal but the hair is still there. That's fine. I don't regret anything nor do i view it as an unfortunate thing."
The Reddit user who posted the picture was branded 'shallow' and 'rude' for posting her picture.
He then responded apologising for his behaviour.
What Balpreet Kaur wrote on Reddit
Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn't know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled :) However, I'm not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it's who I am. Yes, I'm a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body - it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn't reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying 'mine, mine' and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn't important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. :-) So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I've gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. :) I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.
She further added:
Also, wearing turbans for women is a sign of inner strength and empowerment because we too are equal to Sikh men. Sikhism advocates total equality for both genders [the only difference between them are the last names] and therefore, it is okay, however rare the occurrence, for a woman to adorn herself with the turban just like her male counterparts. I encourage everyone to go and google and expand their knowledge of the sheer diversity in this nation - as will I; and gain a better understanding of each other.
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