Covering My Hair

2018

My hair grew out very dry and curly.
Mama didn’t know how to deal with it.
She tried oils and creams.
My hair was in braids all during my childhood.
I never let my hair down.
I never felt the wind in my hair.
My maternal aunts made fun of me
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying, hijab

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Thinning Hair

2018

I have a big forehead and thin hair.
It makes me look like Mohamed Heneidy before he got a hair transplant.
My family and friends used to make fun of me.
When I tied my hair back, my father would tell me,
“Wear your hair down. It looks ugly tied back.”
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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The Thing I Love Most

2018

When I was young, my mom used to intentionally fix my hair so that it’d be tightly tied back,
and I’d be safe from peoples’ comments.
For the longest time, I wouldn’t leave the house unless my hair was straightened.
hair, body image, bullying, beauty standards

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Wiry Hair

2018

I started straightening my hair at the age of 12.
I’ve been straightening my hair on a daily basis ever since.
My goal was to get rid of my horrible curly hair.
My hair got completely damaged.
But I didn’t have any other choice.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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Brillo Pad

2018

I used to not hate my hair.
As a child I was quiet and scared of people.
I always avoided interacting them.
My shyness increased in school.
That’s when people started commenting on my hair.
“It’s like a brillo pad.”
“Your hair is a mess.”
My classmates would always ask what was wrong with my hair.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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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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14 Years of Hair Straightening

2019

Ever since I was young,
I was told that my hair wasn’t nice.
I’ve been straightening my hair since elementary school.
Everyone around me made fun of me.
They called me “brillo pad.”

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The Way God Made Me

2018

I started getting comments about my curly hair when I came to Egypt.
I get comments like, “Brush your hair.”
“Mop-head.”
“Why is your hair so messy?”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Not Pretty Like Them

2018

My hair is curly. But my mother and relatives aren’t convinced.
“Are you going out with your hair all messy like that?” my mother would always tell me on my way out.
“Won’t you do something about your hair?” she’d tell me on our way to family gatherings.
“Don’t come with me if you won’t straighten your hair.”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Eurocentric Beauty Standards

2018

My mother had always wanted a daughter with European features.
Luckily, I was born with European features.
People couldn’t even tell that I was Egyptian.
But, unfortunately, I had curly hair.
I got all sorts of comments from my family and people I wasn’t even related to.
“Poor thing. She’s beautiful but she has bad hair.”
Can you imagine a 6-year-old getting her hair done at the hairdresser’s almost every week?
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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