A Letter to an Ugly Body

2018

I hate you.
I hate everything about you.
Your skin tone, your size, all your little details.

Trust me when I say that I’ve tried to accept you so many times, but I just can’t.
I can’t keep fooling myself.
body image, body shaming, beauty standards, harassment

FULL STORY

About Periods

2015

There was a teacher called Soheir or Siham.
One time, she closed the classroom door during religion class,
And, in a very shy tone, bombarded us with a wealth of information in just three minutes.

FULL STORY

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.

FULL STORY

The Pearl Box

2016

When I was little
My mother told me that a girl’s private parts are called a box of pearls
When I got older and we learned about reproduction
I asked my mother
and she told me the same thing that our teacher Mr. Mahmoud told me

FULL STORY

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

FULL STORY

It Has Come

2019

I was 12 when it came.
In Palestine, we say ajetny [it has come] when we get our periods.
It happened when I got home after school.
There was a lot of blood.
I got really scared.
I cried a lot.
I couldn’t understand why I was bleeding.
womanhood, period, body image

FULL STORY

Renaming Myself Sami

2019

I was scared because everyone told me that,
Once I got my period and hit puberty,
A lot of things were going to change:
I wouldn’t be able to wear shorts anymore or ride bikes,
Or play with boys on the street.
gender identity, body image, womanhood, period

FULL STORY

Wearing What I Want

2019

Baba always wanted me to dress in loose-fitting clothing,
Even though I am petite.
When we went shopping,
And something fit me but wasn’t loose,
He’d tell me that it looked bad on me.
body image, bullying, parents

FULL STORY

Like You're Not There

2017

I was on my way to school like any other day,
When I found everyone making fun of me because I was wearing pants and a t-shirt that were bigger in size than their clothes.
I weighed more than them.
I don’t know how this whole thing started.
bullying, body image, beauty standards, social pressure

FULL STORY

Dancing

2006

Remember? Remember the first time you saw a woman dance?
Do you remember?
Maybe at a wedding? Or in a film?

FULL STORY
x
Warning The stories on our story archive could contain potentially sensitive and/or triggering material. If a story causes you discomfort or pain, please remember to breathe and check in with yourself before continuing or stop reading completely if necessary.