Why Do I Have Ugly Hair?

2018

“Why isn’t my hair pretty like yours?
Why isn’t it soft like my friends’ hair at school?
Why do I keep screaming whenever my mom fixes it for me?”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Pixie Cut

2019

When I was a kid, before I had even turned 5,
My mom gave my black curly hair a pixie cut.
My sister’s friends always used to ask her,
“What’s your brother’s name?”
She’d draw their attention to my earrings and point out that I’m a girl.
body image, bullying, hair, beauty standards

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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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It’s Better Tied Up

2019

I used to be a swimmer.
I am dark-skinned,
Because I used to go to swim practice every morning.
I’m the only person in my family with curly hair.
Not a day would pass without someone commenting on my hair and skin.

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Disgusting Hair

2018

These are some of the comments I’ve received:
“Mophead!”
“Cuckoo!”
“The girl with disgusting hair.”
“Her hair is ugly.”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Closer to Beautiful

2019

I always thought I was adopted,
Or maybe I wasn’t their daughter….
I’m the eldest of my siblings,
I was born normally,
With olive skin and curly hair.
But I was seen as dark-skinned, ugly, and with coarse hair.
Things got worse when my younger sister was born three years later.
She was born with pale skin and straight hair.

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Fix Your Hair

2018

I used to braid my kinky hair in school.
It was a bit poofy at the top.
The girls at school would pull my hair and undo my braid.
My hair would get frizzy and I wouldn’t know how to tie it.
The teachers would yell at me to tie my hair.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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If Only She Were Good-looking

2019

I was never loved when I was a kid,
Because of my skin tone.
It was light brown,
But people liked to judge by appearances.
They’d always look at me at school,
As if I were different,
Until I started believing it.

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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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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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