Kitchen Stove

2018

“What’s up with your hair? Put water or oils on it to make it softer.”
“Why is your hair like that? Why do you have such ugly hair?”
“Have your mother style it for you because it looks horrible like that.”
“Looks like the doorman’s wife styles your hair.”
beauty standards, hair, body image, bullying, social pressure

FULL STORY

Mop Head

2018

My paternal grandmother always had a brush,
And loads of hair products ready with her to tame my “unruly”, unkempt hair.
She would sit me down on my knees,
pull at my hair painfully until it got detangled,
then she would apply a lot of hair cream,
pull my hair back into a bun or braid it,
Until the curls were no longer visible.

FULL STORY

The Gymnasium

2013

The first memory I have of my appearance is from when I was 5 or 6 years old, or younger.
I was wearing a bathing suit and standing at the entrance of the club’s gymnasium, refusing to enter.

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The Flaw

2019

I was born with a birthmark on a specific part of my body.
It’s darker than the rest of my skin and bigger.
It’s made me avoid looking at my reflection in the mirror,
And I can’t wear the dresses I want to.

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Stay Out of It

2018

I started wearing the hijab when I was 11 years old.
I took the decision to take it off.
At work, Hassan, the security guy didn’t recognize me right away.
“Good morning, Ms. Why did you do that?”
I know he meant well.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

FULL STORY

BED (Binge Eating Disorder)

2019

French teacher, bragging about her daughter's 50ish kgs perfect weight,
While my classmates, 15 y/o, join the discussion some being below that,
Some slightly above, but everyone in the room were of a normal weight except me,

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The Stage

2016

My appearance is what’s stopping me from getting on stage.
I’ve even considered cosmetic surgery.
I’m learning script writing so that I could play my own self on stage.
I’ll write a play that talks about people like me.
I’ll find someone like me to play the leading role.

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I Love My Hair

2018

I had thick hair as a child.
I hated how much it hurt when my mother washed, brushed, or braided it.
I could never wear it down like my sister, who had beautiful straight hair.
One time at the beach, when I was 15 years old, a tourist stopped and asked me,
“How do you make your hair curly like that?”
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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The Color of My Skin

2019

Some people at university would compliment my skin tone and ask me,
“How do you get so tan?”
I would tell them that it wasn’t a tan.
It was my skin color.
I thought they were making fun of me,
And that something was wrong with me.

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Jaw Deformity

2019

I have a jaw deformity.
I was born with it.
So were my siblings.
It’s genetic,
But my parents fixed theirs early on so it was easy.
There’s an age gap between me and my siblings,
So by the time I got here,
My parents had a lot of issues,
And we couldn't fix mine.

FULL STORY