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The first response can make all the difference

October 3, 2012

This story below is a perfect example of how the first response to a negative or derogatory comment can make all the difference.

What Balpeet Kaur has done so brilliantly is make it clear that she was truly impervious to anyone making fun about her physical appearance. The invitation to pose for photographs with other campus students really drove the point home.  People can make fun of her appearance if they want but she really is not going to waste a minute of her precious time worrying about it.

Cyber bullies are in it for the response they get and Balpeet is simply not going to provide any further response beyond stating the facts. Had she responded defensively or aggressively the outcome probably would have been very different. She may well have become a victim of online abuse as other may have joined in at making jokes about her appearance.

In this case I do not think that the person who posted her picture was really a cyber bully. He was as he admitted guilty of being rude, judgmental and ignorant. When confronted with the facts he felt remorse and apologized to Balpeet which is something a real cyber bully would not have done.

More people should take a leaf out of Balpeet’s book and be less concerned about what others say especially with regard to things they have little or no control over. Our time is too important to waste on the small-minded people and unimportant stuff.

Bearded lady gives bullies what-for

A Sikh woman who was ridiculed on Reddit for having a beard and sideburns has hit back with an eloquent response to cyber trolls.

After user “european_douchebag” posted her photo in the ‘funny’ section of the site, with the caption, “I’m not sure what to make of this”, a stream of cruel remarks predictably followed.

But the trolls were put in their place when the woman, student Balpreet Kaur, replied to the post, explaining that leaving facial hair untouched was part of her religion as a Sikh.

“Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair,” she posted. “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.”

Kaur said she would be happy to pose for a photo with any of her fellow students in future, and invited them to ‘say hello’ if they saw her on campus.

Balpreet Kaur. Photo: Reddit

“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,” she added.

The user who originally posted Kaur’s photo without permission has since apologised for his actions on Reddit.

“It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post,” said the 20 year-old user, who has chosen to remain anonymous.

“Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am. Balpreet’s faith in what she believes is astounding.”




Filed in: General

About the Author:

Christopher is an IT specialist with 30 years of experience in developing technology working with corporates and SME’s. Chris is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, as well as numerous certificate based qualifications in technology and application development. Christopher is the CEO of internetSOS - A project to help people learn how to protect themselves online.

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