Monday, October 8, 2012

For reasons unexplained, I have been highly prone to crying lately. Let it be known, y'all that I do not cry often, and if I do, it is almost certainly because I am angry or frustrated or because a cheeseburger is being withheld from me. So when I started sobbing at Barnes & Nobles this weekend because I really do just love my Mom so much, I knew something strange was happening. Cut to last night's tears over not having Columbus Day off, and I was starting to question my internal hormonal balance. What has put me over the edge (read: stifling sniffles and furiously wiping away tears at my desk) however is this article about Balpreet Kaur, a woman spotted by a reddit user and deemed confusing enough in her gender to be put on e-display for the world wide web to judge. After hearing about her spotlight, rather than lashing out at the original poster and subsequent haters, she responded with this:
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.
If you're not at least misty-eyed I suggest following that yellow brick road to Oz to ask the Wizard if he can get you a heart.

Beauty has always been such a prevalent concern for me as I can't help but believe there is a positive correlation between it and my happiness. If I was just a bit thinner, if my eye lashes were longer, if my skin were clearer, then I would just feel better. Balpreet's words are a nice reminder of how little those things actually matter.

Oh, and to the entire universe's surprise, "european_douchebag" has actually sincerely apologized for his public shaming. There's hope for us humans yet. 

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