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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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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Go Hide!

2019

I attended university outside of my governorate.
I used to brush my hair in the bathroom,
Because I didn't want any of the other girls to bother me.
I started realizing there were a lot of people like me,
When I started being active on social media.
These girls weren’t ashamed of their hair.
They went out in public with their curly hair.
I even read articles about the experiences of girls with curly hair.
It made me ask myself if my hair was something to be embarrassed about.
Why was I scared?
These stories gave me the courage to accept my hair as is.

FULL STORY

You Think You're So Cool?

2019

I don’t want to be the kind of woman they expect me to be.
I don’t want to shave.
The problem is that people see that as a lack of cleanliness.
But I think it’s okay.
I want to be flat.

body image, social pressure

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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

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Hiding My Hair

2018

But I remember the way the hairdresser looked at my hair when I took off the hijab in front of her.
She was surprised it was curly.
She would make fun of my hair to the other people in the salon.
I think she used to hurt me on purpose when she was straightening it.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Mine and Mine Alone

2019

Ever since I was little,
I’ve always had “bad” hair.
It truly is bad hair.
It’s not curly.
It’s thin at the front,
And short and frizzy.

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Uncovered Hair

2019

Something annoying happens every Ramadan.
As a woman, I’m looked at as a glitch in the Egyptian societal system.
I’m seen as a problem, just because I don’t cover my hair.
social stigma, social pressure, hijab, hair, harassment, the street

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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.

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Seal

2019

My hair is curly,
And I love it.
I’m tired of the stupid things people say to me.
Going out is one of the worst experiences ever.
I feel a knot in my stomach whenever I’m about to go out.
I don’t know if this is social anxiety.
I have self-confidence,
And I love my hair.
I wish people would accept differences.

Hair, The Street

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