Sikh Woman Handles Cyber Abuse with Intelligence – and Gets an Apology!

by Carla Johnson on October 6th, 2012

When a Reddit user took this image, it was posted to make fun of this young Sikh woman sporting facial hair. Most of the time, these images are posted without the subject ever knowing about it. This case was the exception.

When Balpreet Kaur’s friends informed her that she was the focus of some mean spirited chatter, she responded. Instead of choosing to lash out in hurt or anger, she shared why she chose not to change her body and how this was an important expression of her faith. Her response was so full of thought and insight that she got an apology!

Balpreet’s beautiful response:

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.

Bertrand Russell has been quoted as saying, ” A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” Balpreet, thank you for showing us a clever and eloquent woman can powerfully impact the world.

From → Carla Johnson

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