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

Bride Wanted

2018

We’re looking for a bride.
One who’s beautiful.
What do we mean by beautiful?
We mean one with fair skin and straight hair.
It’s as if we’re picking out a doll.
I don’t know who set those standards,
And why we’re made to follow them.
body image, hair, beauty standards

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Not the Loveable Kind

2019

Ever since I was young,
I was told that I’m not pretty,
Because I’m fat,
And that I shouldn’t eat too much,
Because I’d get even fatter.
I was told that it was gluttonous,
And unfeminine.

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Despite Her Weight

2019

I’ve always been overweight.
I can’t remember ever being skinny.
I’m pretty,
And I have beautiful hair,
And I have a nice personality,
But people are always telling me to lose weight,
So I’ll look prettier.

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They Pitied Me

2018

My entire family has soft, straight hair.
I’m the only one with curly hair.
“Why is your hair so ugly?” they also wondered.
My mother didn’t know how to take care of it.
Everyone used to compliment my sister’s beautiful hair and pity me.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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You're Not a Girl

2018

I’m a girl, but I never let anyone see my hair.
Even at home.
Even when I’m asleep or coming out of the shower.
I cover my hair at all times because of the abuse I get subjected to and because of the way they look at me.
“Your hair is coarse.”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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A Letter to an Ugly Body

2018

I hate you.
I hate everything about you.
Your skin tone, your size, all your little details.

Trust me when I say that I’ve tried to accept you so many times, but I just can’t.
I can’t keep fooling myself.
body image, body shaming, beauty standards, harassment

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I Avoid Mirrors

2019

I have always been more or less fat ever since I was a toddler.
And as if that wasn’t enough to make my life miserable,
I have a very thin fraternal twin sister.

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Disgust and Guilt

2013

I acted like I wasn’t disgusted, but I was disgusted!
I pretended I wasn't because I felt it would be shameful for me to be hurt when people judge my body and then turn around and judge your body!
In a perfect world, we’d love every body type.

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Two Extra Kilos

2019

I look at my old clothes—
which I wore only a handful of times—
And I feel frustrated.
I try them all on.
I squeeze my new chubby body into them,
But to no avail.
It’s an attempt to prove I still fit into them.
Fine, I just want to fit into any of them at least,
So my mind could be at ease.

FULL STORY