Medusa

2018

My mother only likes straight hair.
She’d always straighten our hair, using various gels and keratin.
She wanted to straighten it in any way possible.
hair, bullying, beauty standards, body image

FULL STORY

Fat is not shameful

2019

My story with weight is a little long.
It started when I was a child in elementary school.
I was fatter than my friends who were the same age as me.
They called me “fatty.”
It was a mark of shame that will always stay with me.
I didn’t know how to get rid of it.

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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

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.

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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

FULL STORY

Sugar Cane Sticks

2019

I was small in size from childhood up until I went to college.
My brother was a bit like me.
He is a year older than me.
His body started to change around puberty,
But mine didn’t.
My sister is 8 years younger than me.
They were both chubby,
And I was skinny.

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Hating My Body

2019

“My daughter is fat and black.
She doesn’t look like her siblings.
Even her brothers look nicer than she does.”
I’ve been taught to hate my body ever since I was young.
“You’re fat, black, and you have eyes as small as buttons.”
“Look at all the other girls. You’ll never get married.”

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The Arabic Teacher

2018

My hair is naturally curly.
I got it from my maternal grandmother.
The rest of my family members all have long, straight hair.
I’ve been subjected to all sorts of ridicule and mockery,
But it hurt the most when it came from my family.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

FULL STORY

Not Pretty Like Them

2018

My hair is curly. But my mother and relatives aren’t convinced.
“Are you going out with your hair all messy like that?” my mother would always tell me on my way out.
“Won’t you do something about your hair?” she’d tell me on our way to family gatherings.
“Don’t come with me if you won’t straighten your hair.”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

FULL STORY

Unwarranted Comments

2019

For as long as I can remember, I’d been overweight.
As a result, I was always subjected to comments from people, especially family,
Comments about how fat I was,
Whether as a child, teenager, or young adult.
I was always told that I needed to lose weight,
That I was not nice to look at,
And that I would never find a husband because of my body.

FULL STORY
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