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.
"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."