Six months ago, on a website called Reddit.com, an anonymous person posted this picture, with the comment 'I'm not sure what to conclude from this.
Among the comments reacting to the picture was one from the woman in the photo.
Articulate, penetrating and poised only begin to describe her text :
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 embarrassed 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 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.
Next came something I had almost thought was impossible in the virtual world of internet : The initial poster of the picture actually apologized!
I posted this link a few days ago: http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/109cnf/im_not_sure_what_to_conclude_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.com shouldn't be about putting people down, but a group of people sending cool, interesting, or funny things. Reddit's been in the news a lot lately about a lot of cool things we've done (...).
I'm sorry for being the part of Reddit.com 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 fucking Reddit.com, 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.com 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.
(...) Just because you're anonymous doesn't mean you can be an asshole.
I would love to use these heartwarming documents in class, I just can't make up my mind HOW...
They made my day, at any rate!