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Sikh Woman Defends Facial Hair After Photo Goes Viral


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#1 Sharpshooter

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:37 PM

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Balpreet Kaur, Sikh Woman, Proudly Sports Facial Hair In Accordance With Her Faith


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Warning - Nasty or prepubescent jokes or comments will be reported to the moderators as attempts to provoke and incite.

Please do not post in this thread if you're not grown up enough to not snicker or make fun of the subject of this thread. Thank you.



So, as I am wont to do at times, I was scanning news sites to see what's what out there and I came across this thread about a douchebag who had posted a picture of Balpreet Kaur, a young female Sikh college student. The OP's username is literally 'european_douchebag'. A username he certainly lived up to.

The thread was created in order to laugh at her because she happened to have facial hair. I have to admit in all honestly, at first I had to do a double take. Facial hair on a woman isn't unheard of, i'm lookling at you ladies of Italian descent....you know what I speak of. :P, but it still isn't something that perhaps i'm used to seeing on a daily basis(I don't know how better to state it). However, I also knew that Sikhs, particularly baptized Sikhs, such as Balpreet here, don't cut their hair, as it's a tenet of their faith.

I figured it was just going to be a thread filled with pointing and laughing and all the juvenile crap that one is used to seeing on Reddit......and true to Reddit, there was.

But....

....much to my surprise there was also a post written by Balpreet, identifying herself as the girl in the picture and acknowledging the taunts with a most eloquently remarkable response to the OP, as shown here:

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.



http://www.reddit.co...ort=new#c6bmnym



I gotta admit, I was kinda floored by her response. Thoughtful, humble, eloquent, honest, self-confident and dignified. Like I said before, remarkable.

She could have hid from the world, lashed out in anger or embarrassment or any other understandable emotional ways, and yet she didn't. She even apologized at the end. Quite the remarkable display of class, in my opinion.

The things that really floors me is that the OP, with the passage of some time, and perhaps much condemnation from all her supporters, mixed with a bit of introspection, guilt and regret had this to say:
  • I don't know if anyone is gonna see this but OP here! It was a fairly ass.hole-ish thing to post this. After apologizing and talking with Balpreet I've seen how stupid this post was in the first place isn't funny at all. Yeah it's not something you see everyday but that doesn't make it funny. Hopefully you guys won't remember me as "that douchebag that posted the picture of the Sikh girl!"
  • Thanks! We all slip up sometimes, and admitting your mistakes is something ya gotta do. I definitely learned something about Sikhism, it's a very interesting religion
  • Not gonna lie, it was very disrespectful of me.

Finally, the OP made a new thread, titled: 'I posted the picture of a Sikh woman on here and I'd like to apologize'

And this was his post :


I posted this link a few days ago: http://www.reddit.co...lude_from_this/

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.

/r/Funny wasn't the proper place to post this. Maybe /r/racism or /r/douchebagsofreddit or /r/intolerance would have been more appropriate. Reddit shouldn't be about putting people down, but a group of people sending cool, interesting, or funny things. Reddit's been in the news alot lately about a lot of cool things we've done, like a freaking AMA by the president. I'm sorry for being the part of reddit that is intolerant and douchebaggy. This isn't 4chan, or 9gag, or some other stupid website where people post things like I did. It's ???? reddit. Where some pretty amazing stuff has happened.

I've read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant.

So reddit I'm sorry for being an asshole and for giving you negative publicity.

Balpreet, I'm sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am

Sikhs, I'm sorry for insulting your culture and way of life.

Balpreet's faith in what she believes is astounding.

EDIT: Forgot a word and realized r/douchebagsofreddit is actually a thing!
http://www.reddit.co...an_on_here_and/



Now this guy took a lot of well deserved heat, BUT, the remarkable thing, at least to me was that he not only apologized, but he talked to Balpreet and got to know her as a person, past the cosmetic appearance of what makes a person, and got to know her on a bit of a deeper level.

And I thought that was just really cool. There's a lesson here for all of us, i suppose. Perhaps if more of us were like Balpreet, or honestly, even like the douchebag OP who in his own way, became an example of the redeeming quality of "I'm sorry"....words too often which are so effin difficult to utter....especially to strangers, and especially to stranger on the interwebs.

I don't know, this made me feel good and I thought i'd share it with the hopes that you take something positive from either Balpreet, or the OP's eventual redemption, which I believe to be sincere, or the wonderful and inspired comments from the other users, total strangers mind you, who came to Balpreet's defence, who were genuinely inspired by her own inner strength and courage in addressing a thread aimed and created solely to make fun of her. I think about that last part, and all I can say is....remarkable.

Thanks for reading.



- Post Script.....because I think it has to be pointed out. As much as I admire Balpreet, and as much as one human can admire the example of another I do, at the end of the day she reminds me that religious extremists come in many forms and flavours. Not ever cutting any hair off your body because of a covenant made with a supernatural being, who didn't ask you to in the first place, simply demonstrates, that though some religious people may be as sweet as candy and amazing, they're still extremists and fanatics....and the world would be better off with the riddance of all forms of religious extremism...even the benign ones. I hope that as she transcends the hate, we as a species will eventually transcend the grip of fanatical and extreme religiousity.
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#2 Jaimito

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:39 PM

live and let live

i'm sure there are some guys into hirsute women.
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#3 Sharpshooter

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:40 PM

live and let live

i'm sure there are some guys into hirsute women.


I can tell you didn't read the OP.
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#4 Dazzle

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:48 PM

I gotta be honest though. I wouldn't do what she's doing, if I was a girl, but I guess that's just me. What she's doing.. is none of my business. She's not hurting anyone and she can be, feel, dress, act like anyone that she wants to be, especially if it's herself.

Her reaction of the OP taunting was quite a graceful way of handling it, without stooping back on personal attacks (as it is very tempting to do that). Even better was the reply that the european_douchebag guy made which shamed his prior actions/behaviour and has allowed himself to move forward also. Both people deserve quite a bit of respect out of it. I like.
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#5 cadillaccts

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:00 PM

Interesting read. Thanks for posting.
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#6 Armada

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:06 PM

Good for her, people should be allowed to be as they want. Although she does have more facial hair than me :(

Edited by Armada, 25 September 2012 - 11:17 PM.

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#7 Dion Phaneuf

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:09 PM

Not many Sikh woman do this but good for her. :)
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#8 Super19

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:23 PM

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What was up with that post-script of yours, OP? It did not have to be pointed out.
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#9 nux4lyfe

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:26 PM

It's the way god created us, If we weren't supposed to have hair on certain places, we prob would have never had any to begin with. - that is the Sikh belief.

Power to her and respect.
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#10 I♥Wellwood

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:41 PM

Gotta respect her for being so devoted to her religious beliefs. I could never do the same.
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#11 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:47 PM




:)

Edited by MaximYapierre, 25 September 2012 - 11:47 PM.

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/=S=/


#12 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:50 PM

Yeah...

:sick:

Edited by Tortorella's Rant, 25 September 2012 - 11:51 PM.

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#13 Tystick

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:59 PM

Good for her, people should be allowed to be as they want. Although she does have more facial hair than me :(


Ya haha, I wish I could grow that :(
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#14 Canucksbiggestfan

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:26 AM

Yeah...

:sick:


Ok, really?

Grow up.
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#15 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:28 AM

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Ok, really?

Grow up.


LOL. I knew that would get a response.

What? I'm not allowed to mention I think it's gross?
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#16 Armada

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:30 AM

Ok, really?

Grow up.


An opinion's an opinion?

Maybe he respects someone who eats bugs but still thinks its gross?
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#17 WHL rocks

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:38 AM

Different people interpret the same faith differently. The vast majority of Sikhs would say the Sikh faith does not ban women from looking pretty, putting on make up and taking other necessary measures like facial hair removal.

Obviously Balpreet is a strong person. She has some qualities everyone should have. But I feel one must draw the line somewhere.

Some people participate in terror attacks becasue they believe its in their faith to do so, others meditate several hours per day. Others will walk bare feet for hundreds of miles to go pay respect to their gods. Others are like Balpreet. I consider all these people to be extremists. Some peaceful others violent others somewhere in the middle but extreme in the way they read and interpret their holy scriptures.

Nanak the 1st Guru started the Sikh religion 200 years before Gobind the 10 th Guru initiated the practice of keeping unshorn hair. It was due to the political situation of the day. Sikhism had 10 Gurus (teachers). These were men not profits, nor gods. 9 of the 10 Gurus did not say anything about not cutting your hair.

I bet Balpreet cuts her finger nails.
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#18 terrible.dee

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:59 AM

*snicker*
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#19 Canucksbiggestfan

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:11 AM

LOL. I knew that would get a response.

What? I'm not allowed to mention I think it's gross?


I didn't know if that was for the facial hair or the reason she has it.
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#20 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:49 AM

I didn't know if that was for the facial hair or the reason she has it.


Well, alright, the hair of course. She can have it for whatever reason she wants, idc
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#21 :D

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:42 AM

She seems like a remarkable girl, but I think it is an odd cause for you to champion, Sharpshooter. It seems to directly oppose your stance on religion.
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#22 TIGER SINGH

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:13 AM

Common in men, not so common in women to not cut their hair. Good job
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#23 -Goose-

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:22 AM

Ok, really?

Grow up.


Eh. It is kinda gross, personally. I guess as a society we have made female facial hair extremely taboo because im sure this is more common of an occurrence than we seem to think.

Like another poster said, she fine with what do I care.
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#24 SukhKular

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:33 AM

Yeah...

:sick:


Classy.

Different people interpret the same faith differently. The vast majority of Sikhs would say the Sikh faith does not ban women from looking pretty, putting on make up and taking other necessary measures like facial hair removal.

Obviously Balpreet is a strong person. She has some qualities everyone should have. But I feel one must draw the line somewhere.

Some people participate in terror attacks becasue they believe its in their faith to do so, others meditate several hours per day. Others will walk bare feet for hundreds of miles to go pay respect to their gods. Others are like Balpreet. I consider all these people to be extremists. Some peaceful others violent others somewhere in the middle but extreme in the way they read and interpret their holy scriptures.

Nanak the 1st Guru started the Sikh religion 200 years before Gobind the 10 th Guru initiated the practice of keeping unshorn hair. It was due to the political situation of the day. Sikhism had 10 Gurus (teachers). These were men not profits, nor gods. 9 of the 10 Gurus did not say anything about not cutting your hair.

I bet Balpreet cuts her finger nails.


I totally agree. I'm Sikh and I get what she believes, but I like the fingernail comment. Some "baptized" Sikhs are such hypocrites.

*snicker*


:rolleyes:

She seems like a remarkable girl, but I think it is an odd cause for you to champion, Sharpshooter. It seems to directly oppose your stance on religion.


Yes. I thought that was strange as well. I guess he's not really commenting on the religious aspect but more on the you shouldn't be a douchebag aspect.
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#25 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:50 AM

Good for her for standing up for her freedom, and here's to seeing if she can grow a better playoff beard in 10 years next season. Posted Image

Yes. I thought that was strange as well. I guess he's not really commenting on the religious aspect but more on the you shouldn't be a douchebag aspect.

So much irony given the Christian related topics. :lol:

Edited by zaibatsu, 26 September 2012 - 06:52 AM.

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#26 Sharpshooter

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:59 AM

She seems like a remarkable girl, but I think it is an odd cause for you to champion, Sharpshooter. It seems to directly oppose your stance on religion.


It was a commentary more on the girl then on her religion. She could have been Buddhist or a Jain or Zorastrian for all I care.

I thought I made my thoughts on her strict adherence to her religious tenet of unshorn hair quite clear in the post-script. Is it possible you posted without reading the whole OP?
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#27 Sharpshooter

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:59 AM

Good for her for standing up for her freedom, and here's to seeing if she can grow a better playoff beard in 10 years next season. Posted Image


So much irony given the Christian related topics. :lol:


How so?
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#28 Nevlach

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:07 AM

Wow good for her. Very humble, proud, and mature of her. Refreshing read.
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#29 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:08 AM

Not a Sikh? No thread.
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#30 TimberWolf

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:22 AM

I don't think anyone should be ridiculed for their opinions or lifestyles but it happens constantly and many times unchecked on this forum. What makes this subject immune and special while others go into the ridicule pile?
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I was saying Lu-Urns...

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