At Ohio State University, someone took a photo of this woman without her knowledge, and posted it online with the intention of making fun of her, mostly because she has a lot of facial hair and wears a turban in the sikh tradition. When the woman was informed of the photo and comment thread, she responded by simply explaining her faith, and why she chooses to look as she does.
“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.”
As a baptized Sikh woman, Kaur—who is from Ohio—said that she is forbidden from altering her body, as it is considered a sacred gift from God.
“The overarching principal is this body is a tool for service,” she explained. “We have to maintain and take care of it while cherishing its original form.” That means that going to the hospital and taking medicine is fine, because one should be healthy in order to be of service to others. But cutting one’s hair or removing one’s facial hair is forbidden, even if societal norms dictate otherwise.
“My hair doesn’t stop me from being normal or doing service so its not a hindrance,” she said in a later post. “I’ve been to the doctor regarding this and it’s just a side effect of my hormone levels during my teenage years. The hormones have returned to normal, but the hair is still there. That’s fine I don’t regret anything, nor do I view it as an unfortunate thing.”
The photo is contained in the link.
I just thought this was very interesting. If only I could be that calm when my Catholic behaviors are criticized or made fun of.