Eyesore

2018

It was a family outing.
Almost everyone said,
“What’s wrong with your hair?”
“Straighten the frizz out of it.”
“Are you trying to be an eyesore on purpose?”
They were insensitive to my feelings as they made fun of me.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards, social pressure

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Don't You Ever Wash Your Hair?

2018

The first day of university, I came to class late and the professor stopped me and said:
“Why does your hair look like that? Do you not have any water at home to wash it with?”
I was so embarrassed, but I laughed it off.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Teaching Them to Love Themselves

2019

I have curly hair.
When I was young,
Mama used to straighten it for me every 3 to 4 days.
The heat and the yanking of my hair were too much for me as a child.
Besides, I came to really believe that it was ugly.
body image, bullying, hair

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My Son Looks Like Me

2019

My forehead is kind of big.
I’ve always been bullied because of how I looked,
My forehead,
And my hair—
Which isn’t bad by the way,
But it isn't as beautiful as everyone else’s in the family.
I’ve always heard things like,
“Your hair could work as an antenna for the T.V.”

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The Girl with Curly Hair

2019

I am a curly-haired girl.
Everyone calls my hair scraggly.
Everyone insists that I should straighten it,
But I don’t want to.

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Relaxer

2018

When I was young, my mother used to cut my hair even though I would beg her not to.
I had always wanted to have long hair.
“Your hair looks like a loofa,” she would always say.
I couldn’t tie it back when it was short.
It looked terrible under the hijab with the school uniform.
I was bullied at school because of my hair.
People would touch it and make fun of me.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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Synonyms for “Curly”

2018

Synonyms for Curly Hair:
“Poofy hair”
“Like a poodle”
“Like a broom”
“Like a toilet brush”
“Like a ceiling duster”
“Mixed in a blender”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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