One of the most distinguishing features about Sikhs is the practice of keeping long uncut hair kes. Some women, do not cut the hair on their head, some do not cut or trim any hair at all, while others cut their hair. With any religion, people practice it to the degree they want to or are comfortable with. Which forces Sikh women, both who chose to be Sikh and are born Sikh, into being constantly policed on what they do with their hair. And the second reason for keeping hair is due to the heavy persecution Sikhs were facing at the time. The turban and hair became an identity marker, which made people easily identified as Sikh so people were able to uphold their faith. It also forces people to be held up to a higher standard.
When Balpreet Kaur, a young Sikh American, discovered she was being widely mocked on the Internet for her facial hair, she proudly pushed back. A picture of Ms. Kaur went viral on the Internet this week, with many commenting on the unusual amount of hair on her face. For hormonal reasons, Ms. Kaur has far more facial hair than most women. She posted the following comment next to her picture, which had been uploaded on the website Reddit. 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. It is well known that, in accordance with their faith, Sikh men and women should avoid cutting their hair.
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