The Curse of Turning 18

2019

My family was always very critical,
And they tended to make fun of people.
I was born with flawed joints.
I could walk very well and run and all that,
But when I stood,
My knees bent backward,
At first sight, it looked like my legs had been amputated.
My family always called me “Miss knees,”
And my mother always made fun of me in front of my siblings.
She thought I was inverting my knees like this on purpose.
She once even called me “disabled,”
And told me to straighten my knees.

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Skinny

2019

I’m thin,
I don’t have any muscles or abs.
I was okay with that, to an extent, in the beginning,
Because my body hadn’t fully developed yet,
Or basically, because I hadn’t decided to go the gym yet.
body image, bullying, masculinity

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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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Why Do You Look Like That?

2019

Mama likes to make remarks about everything:
“Why do you look like that?”
“Why do you look pale?”
“Why are there dark circles under your eyes?”
“Why are there dark spots around your mouth?”
“Why are you eating like that?”
“Why are your fingers so long?”

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A Little Extra Weight

2019

I went to school in an Arab country.
I was kind of chubby,
But not obese.
I just carried some extra weight.
And my breasts were a little big,
Compared to the other kids.
body image, bullying, masculinity

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Frizzy Hair

2018

I used to always hear negative comments when I was a kid about my hair and looks.
My mother never told me that my hair looked nice.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Biological Mother vs Real Mother

2019

I just finished reading one of your stories,
About a mother who body shamed her daughter.
My relationship with my mother has been traumatic.
My mother always did the same thing:
She’d make fun of how I looked generally,
Not just my weight,
Even though I wasn’t fat before I got married,
But she always said I looked poor.

FULL STORY
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