This picture was uploaded to Facebook with the caption, “I’m not sure what to conclude from this.” The comments were hurtful and vicious, and the picture was obviously candid. The main point of the cruel jab? The fact that she had grown facial hair and was wearing a turban. The person who uploaded the picture never meant for it to be spread around so quickly, but when she saw her picture online and read the comments about her appearance, she wrote a stunning response that touched everyone’s hearts!
Hey, guys. This is Balpreet, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If this person had wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled 🙂 However, 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 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 t-shirt 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.
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.
What makes this whole thing even better? After reading this response and learning about her faith, the guy who put up the picture actually apologized for the thoughtless post and asked to meet up with Balpreet in order to apologize in person!
I know that this post ISN’T a funny post but I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture. Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post.
Wow. Usually, this kind of hatred is something that gets ignored by the people who share it originally, but this woman decided to explain why she looks the way she does instead of lashing out with more hatred. She truly is remarkable! I don’t think I would have handled such a public shaming so graciously, but she really nailed this response! It’s beautiful to see that even over the internet, two strangers can make amends and become better people because of it.
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