Redditor european_douchebag recently posted this pic of a Sikh woman with the caption: "i'm not sure what to conclude from this."
Redditors promptly piled on to criticize her facial hair, which she is bound by her religion not to cut or alter in any way.
Then the woman caught wind of the post and responded:
Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. ... 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. ...
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. ...
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."
Then, miracle of miracles, european_douchebag apologized:
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. ...
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 a**hole 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.