Behind My Mother’s Back

2019

I remember during my early teenage years,
When I’d go the beach with my family.
I was 2 or 3 kilos overweight.
Mama has been commenting on my weight and the way my body looks ever since.
body image, parents, bullying

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Natural Hair

2018

Back when I was in school, all the boys and girls would stare at my hair and call it a “brillo pad.”
I braided my hair most of the time so people wouldn’t notice I had coarse hair, and so I wouldn’t stand out.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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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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Freckles

2019

The freckles on my body suddenly started to appear as I grew older.
They weren’t there when I was little,
Especially around my neck and chest.
Whenever I’d wear something with a scoop neck,
My mother would tell me,
“Wear something else.
Something that hides those things on your chest.”
body image, beauty standards

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The Ugly Side

2019

I hate how I look.
I’m the shortest one in the family.
I have very wide eyes,
And I am dark-skinned.

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My Dear Belly

2018

Please accept my apologies for not accepting your existence for a long time and for trying to get rid of you.
I want you to know that your existence is comforting most of the time. 
I don’t want you to go anymore. 
You’ve been through a lot because of me.
body image, beauty standards

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The Memories Are Killing Me

2019

I’ve been subjected to bad things ever since I was a child.
It started with the bullying I’d get at school,
Because of my thin body and dark skin.

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Jaw Deformity

2019

I have a jaw deformity.
I was born with it.
So were my siblings.
It’s genetic,
But my parents fixed theirs early on so it was easy.
There’s an age gap between me and my siblings,
So by the time I got here,
My parents had a lot of issues,
And we couldn't fix mine.

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It’s Bad Enough That It’s Curly

2018

I used to straighten my hair all the time.
I was in a relationship, but we broke up.
After the break up, I decided to embrace my natural hair.
My ex-boyfriend and I got back together.
I straightened it twice for him.
I once told him I was going to wear my natural hair that day.
“What?! You’re going to go out looking like that?!” he exclaimed.
body image, hair, beauty standards, romantic relationships, marriage

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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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