Her Words Shocked Me

2019

When my mother saw my almost bare chubby body one time, she said,
“Seeing your body upsets me.”
It hurt me.
It hurt to know that my mother feels sad when she sees me,
And that she feels sorry for me.

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Chubbers

2019

I have always been overweight,
And my family comments about my body all the time.
I used to feel like I was public property,
That anyone could look at me and my body and call me,
“Fat” or “chubby”.
I was the butt of jokes at family gatherings,
Which I hated more than anything.
body image, beauty standards, bullying, marriage

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First Day in Prison

2018

I was 20 years old when I went to prison.
I kept trying to run away on the first day, and each time Umm Zakaria would run after me and bring me back.
“What’s the matter with you? Will you keep trying to run away like this?”
“They’re going to hurt me in there.”
prison, bullying

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Go Hide!

2019

I attended university outside of my governorate.
I used to brush my hair in the bathroom,
Because I didn't want any of the other girls to bother me.
I started realizing there were a lot of people like me,
When I started being active on social media.
These girls weren’t ashamed of their hair.
They went out in public with their curly hair.
I even read articles about the experiences of girls with curly hair.
It made me ask myself if my hair was something to be embarrassed about.
Why was I scared?
These stories gave me the courage to accept my hair as is.

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The Remaining Traces of Rejection

2019

I was born in Saudi Arabia.
When I was young,
I was bullied because of my dark skin.
I didn’t have any friends,
Because no one wanted to be friends with me.
I hated myself.
I wanted to die,
So I could go to heaven,
And be reborn as a girl with pale skin,
Blonde hair,
And green eyes.

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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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Chubby

2019

Ever since elementary school,
I’ve been told that I’m overweight.
That I have curves that make me look older than I am.
I decided to lose weight when I went to university.
Even though I wasn’t really overweight.
A lot of people even told me that I had a good body.
body image, bullying, beauty standards

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Bakar!

2019

I’m a dark-skinned girl.
I was, of course, bullied all throughout my school and university years.
I was called “chocolate.”
It used to upset me,
But I didn’t tell mama.
I was scared of her.
She, herself, would introduce me to her friends by saying,
“My daughter is black and ugly.”
body image, racism, bullying

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The Laughing Stock

2019

I don’t think anyone has ever made fun of my body or how I looked,
Except for my family.
Baba and mama didn’t make fun of me,
But they let my uncles to do so.
I was the laughing stock of family gatherings,
Simply because I was a little overweight and had curly hair.
body image, bullying

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Milking Her

2019

Due to a hormonal imbalance,
My breasts got really big.
Too big for a 21-year-old.
And since my lactation hormone levels were high,
My sister would tell mama,
“Don’t buy milk.
We’ll milk her every morning instead.”

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