Can’t Stand This World Anymore

2019

I’m a boy.
I’m not fat, but I have man boobs.
I come from the countryside, and the first thing people notice are my boobs.
I get comments by everyone on the streets, in classes, and at school.
body image, bullying, masculinity

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Hating Them and My Body

2019

I’ve always been the chubby one.
I was fatter than my siblings and friends.
When I was a child,
My family used to make fun of me.
I had to laugh and pretend it was okay.
Otherwise, they’d think I was being a drama queen.
My siblings would mock me by singing made-up songs about my body.
body image, bullying, romantic relationships

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People Call Me Crazy

2018

I’ve always had curly hair. I hated it as a child.
I thought there was something wrong with it.
I’d pray to God to make my hair straight.
I made peace with my hair when I grew up.
That’s when I liked having curly hair.
But it’s the people around me who make me feel that something is wrong with it.
beauty standards, bullying, hair, body image

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Good or Bad Hair?

2018

“Do you have good or bad hair?”
I get this question all the time from everyone around me.
But I’ve never mustered up the courage to reply.
So I tell them: “Yeah, my hair isn’t straight.”
Despite my family’s efforts to convince me that I had nice hair as a baby,
All of the kids at school were skilled in the art of bullying.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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You're Not a Girl

2018

I’m a girl, but I never let anyone see my hair.
Even at home.
Even when I’m asleep or coming out of the shower.
I cover my hair at all times because of the abuse I get subjected to and because of the way they look at me.
“Your hair is coarse.”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Mop Head

2018

My paternal grandmother always had a brush,
And loads of hair products ready with her to tame my “unruly”, unkempt hair.
She would sit me down on my knees,
pull at my hair painfully until it got detangled,
then she would apply a lot of hair cream,
pull my hair back into a bun or braid it,
Until the curls were no longer visible.

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Increasing Criticism

2019

Ever since I was little,
I’ve been underweight,
And I’m not tall.
I’ve always gotten criticism from everyone around me:
“Why do you look like that? Who eats your food?”
“You need to fatten up a bit, my dear. Otherwise, you’ll be an old maid,
And nobody will look at you.”

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Forced to See a Nutritionist

2019

The boys were scared of me;
They’d run away from me and yell,
“She’s going to eat us!
Don’t piss her off because she’ll eat you if she’s hungry!”
body image, bullying

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Petite Body

2019

“How are you in high school?
If I didn’t know, I’d say you’re in the third grade at the most!”
“Aren’t you going to gain some weight?
How are you going to go to university looking like this?”
body image, bullying 

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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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