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Photo Of Sikh Woman With Facial Hair Leads To Conversation, Understanding

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by Aman Singh, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Aman Singh

    Aman Singh Admin SPNer

    Balpreet Kaur, Sikh Woman, Receives Remarkable Apology From Redditor Who Posted Her Photo

    It started with a sneaky and ill-advised online potshot, but it ended with an apology and a positively heartwarming lesson in acceptance, tolerance and kindness.

    Over the weekend, a Redditor with the username "european_douchebag" posted a photo of a college student named Balpreet Kaur to Reddit. Kaur, an Ohio State student and observant Sikh, does not trim her facial hair in accordance with her religion's beliefs.

    Kaur discovered her newfound fame, when a friend showed her the picture. Despite having her privacy violated and her picture posted to the supposedly humorous r/funny subreddit for the world to discuss, the young woman's response was dignified, graceful and generous.

    "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," Kaur wrote. "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."

    The Internet, too, rallied in Kaur's defense, with Redditors like "MisterMT" adding their own messages of support. "This is overall a great story - and Balpreet is about to become a global icon. Even better, she is someone who genuinely deserves her recognition. Wonderful stuff."

    Many took note of Kaur's true inner beauty, while others hailed her as a role model.

    "I had tears in my eyes, reading this post," wrote "singhza". "Balpreet you are an inspiration to everyone and esp the Sikh youth who think they are a misfit in the society if they conform to our religious symbols."

    What happened next, however, was in many ways more surprising: european_douchebag himself apologized.

    In a response entitled "I posted the picture of a Sikh woman on here and I'd like to apologize" that popped up on Reddit yesterday, the man behind the furor issued a complete mea culpa:

    Sometimes humanity surprises us for the better. This is simply one of those times.
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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  2. (Outer) Beauty can be a hindrance to building personality, inner beauty. The more ugly someone is the more they tend to work their personality to be accepted in society. The more good looking they are, the more readily they are accepted. Studies show that we associate positive personalities and qualities with beautiful people. Thus they never feel like they have to work on themselves because they are already accepted. :S

    There are downsides to being beautiful. Who would have thought?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. namjiwankaur

    namjiwankaur SPNer Thinker

    Sat Nam

    I wanted to post about this. I'm glad this came up.

    I think she is beautiful, first of all. I see a deeply spiritual woman. I see self-confidence and someone who has set their priorities straight.

    I feel bad that so many women (and men, too, I'm sure) in the west are so pressured to "put on their faces" and consider some days "bad hair days". Wrinkle creams are another topic entirely which insults the elders with ageism.

    This reminds me of Susan Boyle for some reason. "What!?!?" you exclaim.

    The look on Simon Cowell's face and people in the audience showed they were judging her without knowing anything about her. She "appeared' to be the "ugly duckling" yet she is a shining star worthy of our admiration. She is my heroine.

    (Susan Boyle's first audition on Britains Got Talent: Susan Boyle's first audition in Britain's Got Talent - YouTube )

    Balpreet is my heroine also. May I be more devoted to my union with the Beloved than the approval of the "glamour girls".

    Nam Jiwan cheerleader

    PS- How do I embed a video rather than just put a link to it?
    • Like Like x 6
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2012
  4. Searching

    Searching SPNer

    This woman could have so easily said that facial hair for women is not normal and shaved. But she took the tough road.
    I would be supportive even if she shaved her hair. But this is extraordinary. Salute.

    Best part is that people seem to be supporting her and the person who posted her pictures has apologized.
    Eventually its a positive for Balpreet and Sikhs in general.
    • Like Like x 5
  5. Searching

    Searching SPNer

    Namjiwan ji
    There is an option of insert link above dialog box , fourth to the left of "quote" icon of "insert link"

  6. namjiwankaur

    namjiwankaur SPNer Thinker

    Sat Nam _/|\_

    I have a question. I did know a woman who had a very long thick beard many years ago. I am wondering how much facial hair is physically normal for a woman. I think I remember hearing once that hormonal imbalance can cause a woman to grow too much facial hair. I wonder if in certain racial or ethnic communities women typically have more facial hair.

    Nam Jiwan :mundabhangra:

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh Writer Historian SPNer Thinker Supporter

    I have a real problem with SRM insisting women do not touch hair on their faces.

    The point of the 5 k's was to promote maniless, and the roop of a warrior. The Panj Pyarey were all men.

    I do not think women keeping beard adds anything to being Sikh's.Infact it is demeaning and against the natural femininty.

    People maybe shocked by this view coming from me, but experience, history and talking to women how they feel, makes me think this way.
    • Like Like x 8
  8. Namjiwan ji,
    Just look at the amount of facial hair you have, all of it intact, that is that norm.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. namjiwankaur

    namjiwankaur SPNer Thinker

    I hope I didn't come across insulting. I mean this as a biological question not a spiritual or judgmental one.

    I have a few stray whiskers on my chin. To be honest, I think it would be soooo cool if woman could have beards. I shave them (I'm not Sikh), but of course my involvement in the Sikh community causes me to contemplate on this. If I were Sikh, I think I would worry more about the criticisms of loved ones than strangers.

    I hope the women here will engage in the discussion on this thread. I saw a poll somewhere and the results showed many woman do remove facial hair and sometimes on their legs.

    Nam Jiwan
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  10. Searching

    Searching SPNer

    Namjiwan ji
    Excess of androgens (male hormones) in women cause excess hair in women. It is called Hirsutism.

    There is a method for evaluating excess hair in women. It is called Ferriman–Gallwey score.

    • Like Like x 2
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2012
  11. TigerStyleZ

    TigerStyleZ SPNer

    No women should be forced or put pressure on to remove her facial hair. It is a free choice. She is very confident, and that counts.. And it isn´t just the SIkh women...!! I already told this in another post.. I know feminine people who are sick of shaving waxxing and doing all that stuff as well.. but they keep doing because , they don´t want to get a " wrong watch". Anyway.. most of people are shallow.. me as well, I would accept facial hair.. but a bit ... Not excessive.. like a full growth beard.. and thats truth.. Call me whatever you want - but I am just telling truth..
    • Like Like x 6
  12. I thought it was a genuine question. Most women have average (that is average for a woman) amount of hair on the face. A few whiskers on the chin is pretty average at an older age. Hair on the upper lip is present during young adulthood as well. You can see more women in India with "average amount of hair" than you can in the West. But the west is taking over rapidly replacing eastern values.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Rory

    Rory SPNer

    Hair just isn't seen as a "nice" thing these days, at least in the West. I even know some guys my age (only in their teens!) who trim their eyebrow and nose hair!
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur


    Writer SPNer Thinker

    My opinion on this is kind of both sided.... because where do we draw the line between what is seen as 'natural' and what is seen as a medical issue?

    Women who have excessive male hormones, is not normal. It's a medical condition, and treatable (I do believe) by hormone therapy to counteract it. As a result, the excessive facial hairs would go away. Does that count as 'removing kesh'?? Because in my opinion, a medical issue where the symptom just happens to be excessive facial hair, does not count when it comes to keeping kesh, because that is not how the female body was intended to be... I think in extreme cases it is ok to treat the medical condition. Of course, its also the woman's choice if she choses to keep it, however I don't think women should be forced to keep it in that above described cases.
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Rory

    Rory SPNer

    Interested to hear responses to this.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Writer SPNer

    What you mentioned earlier about hormonal in balances is correct.
    Because our diet in the west can cause imbalances, then this has also resulted in more women with body hair when comared to the east.

    Personally. i think it is not feminine and very off putting.
    If I were a women, i'm sure I would opt to be blonde rather than have excees facial hair.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Ishna

    Ishna Enthusiast Writer SPNer Thinker

    This from Wikipedia about Mai Bhago

    Was Mai Bhago one of those blessed? Apparently not. Why?

    Why did she wear male clothes as Guru ji's bodyguard? A beard then would not be too out of place.

    There isn't a model of femininity in Sikhi. Is it about masculinity.
  18. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur Writer SPNer Supporter

  19. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur Writer SPNer Supporter

    Sikhi is not about masculinity. Sikh is not about femininity. Sikhi is about living life in a particular way of following this particular path through life. Sikhi is about Gurus Sahiban, including, of course, Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Sikhi is about Naam. Sikhi is about dedication to the creation of the Creator.

    I am immensely proud of this young woman because of her dedication, courage and goodness. She explained why she grew the facial hair and why she keeps it. She is tough. I'm sure if you men complained to her that she looks unfeminine, she'd just smile at you. I seem to remember a thread a while back where we discussed at length about femininity. My femininity is what I am naturally. I am a woman and however that expresses itself is my femininity. I, too, have a straggly little beard which pleases me no end. Just a few stray hairs, but I like it. A lot.

    When you gentlemen say she isn't feminine, please forgive me for being blunt, but I believe you are really saying that you are not sexually attracted to her. That is fine, but why not just say that? I mean, there is absolutely no reason you should be. After all, she is your sister.
    • Like Like x 7

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