Like a Disease

2019

My curly hair was like a disease.
Everyone pitied me for it.
Everyone offered to help fix it.
My hair has seen it all: chemicals, food masks, oils, creams, freaking spiritual healings...
hair, beauty standards, bullying

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Closer to Beautiful

2019

I always thought I was adopted,
Or maybe I wasn’t their daughter….
I’m the eldest of my siblings,
I was born normally,
With olive skin and curly hair.
But I was seen as dark-skinned, ugly, and with coarse hair.
Things got worse when my younger sister was born three years later.
She was born with pale skin and straight hair.

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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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14 Years of Hair Straightening

2019

Ever since I was young,
I was told that my hair wasn’t nice.
I’ve been straightening my hair since elementary school.
Everyone around me made fun of me.
They called me “brillo pad.”

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The Thing I Love Most

2018

When I was young, my mom used to intentionally fix my hair so that it’d be tightly tied back,
and I’d be safe from peoples’ comments.
For the longest time, I wouldn’t leave the house unless my hair was straightened.
hair, body image, bullying, beauty standards

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Eurocentric Beauty Standards

2018

My mother had always wanted a daughter with European features.
Luckily, I was born with European features.
People couldn’t even tell that I was Egyptian.
But, unfortunately, I had curly hair.
I got all sorts of comments from my family and people I wasn’t even related to.
“Poor thing. She’s beautiful but she has bad hair.”
Can you imagine a 6-year-old getting her hair done at the hairdresser’s almost every week?
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Mine and Mine Alone

2019

Ever since I was little,
I’ve always had “bad” hair.
It truly is bad hair.
It’s not curly.
It’s thin at the front,
And short and frizzy.

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A Different Person

2018

I hear comments like:
“Okay, leave it how it is in the back, but straighten your bangs because your hair looks frizzy in the front.”
No one understands that part of the reason why I’m okay with how I look comes from leaving my hair as it is.
body image, bullying, hair, beauty standards

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Short Hair

2016

I always imagined myself with short hair.
Until I got it cut.
I was happy.
I felt like myself.

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Don't You Ever Wash Your Hair?

2018

The first day of university, I came to class late and the professor stopped me and said:
“Why does your hair look like that? Do you not have any water at home to wash it with?”
I was so embarrassed, but I laughed it off.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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