Home > Magazine > ChaiTime > Good Sports: A WOMAN OF PRINCIPLE



Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
November 2012

You don’t have to be Sikh to admire Balpreet Kaur, a woman of principle and fortitude. Kaur, a student at Ohio State University, was waiting in line at the university library when someone took a photo of her without her permission and posted it on the social news website Reddit to ridicule her facial hair. Many nasty comments on her appearance followed. After a friend tipped her off, Kaur decided to respond.

“Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture,” she wrote. “... 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. ... 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.”

Her response touched and inspired many people on the internet and even prompted the original poster to apologize on Reddit: “It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post....Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am.”

And a much stronger person than almost all of us.


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