Mama has several objections about how I look—
My teeth, hair, and body.
I’ll start with my teeth.
I’ve had problems with my teeth ever since I was a child.
I didn’t know how to take care of them.
I didn’t pay attention to my appearance (I was a child in elementary school).
I’ll never forget what mama said to me:
“Smile with your mouth closed, so you’ll look good.”
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
My forehead is kind of big.
I’ve always been bullied because of how I looked,
And my hair—
Which isn’t bad by the way,
But it isn't as beautiful as everyone else’s in the family.
I’ve always heard things like,
“Your hair could work as an antenna for the T.V.”