Aunt: No, no, no, no, you need to go to the hairdresser’s.
You are Egyptian now like us!
We just want...you know... for you to look cute and pretty.
Come on, especially so we can find you a man!
Girl: Uh huh, whatever.
Ouch! What the hell!
I thanked God at that moment that these women didn’t understand exactly what I was saying.
Although expressions of pain and agony are pretty hard to misunderstand.
What's going on? Why are you doing this to me?
I am fine the way I am, hair and all!
Uh huh, thanks.
Aunt: You just have to…um...get a little bit of hair removed from here...and here...and maybe here too?
And you have to have the hairdresser straighten your hair too!
Girl: HAVE to?
Okay, let’s see what will happen.
A little bit of hair was an underestimation.
Who knew all those tiny little hairs would hurt so much when they were being removed!
I teared up, cried, and sneezed continuously.
My whole face became red and puffy.
My upper lip was red, eyebrows red and swollen.
No one had seen those tiny little hairs until now that they had been removed!
The irony of it all...
Aunt: What my dear?
Do you leave the hair on your arms?
No, no, no, here we remove it... go get your arms waxed...
Girl: I listened.
I am seriously gullible and naive don't you think?
It was all happening in the same torture chamber.
They were fully equipped you see.
And the waxing, oh my!
I had my arms waxed and I bled so much that day.
Ten years later and I still have ingrown hairs.
Then we got into the serious work of straightening my hair with a blow dryer and scary scissor-like straightening iron that you heat up by fire!
They sat me down initially in front of the mirror so I had a good view of myself.
Why would they do that to me?
I looked horrible, looked like crap!
After a very short while I smelled something horrible,
like something was burning, but what?
Like burnt plastic.
I started to feel a strange heat on my scalp as if it was being grilled!
Ouch! Excuse me sir but is something burning???!!!
Hairdresser: No, no, no. Don't worry.
Girl: I hate it when people say don't worry after the point you know there is a reason to worry.
It gets me nervous.
All I could do was think of ways in which colonialism, misogyny, and torturous standards of beauty were to blame for all of this PAIN.
And of course who could forget my aunt and father of course.
They kept me in front of the mirror catching glimpses of myself for an entire hour while my scalp was being incinerated.
I am sitting looking at myself in the mirror and I don't want to look!
Wooow, how gorgeous do I look right now?
I really do look beautiful!
My face was all wrong and my hair was burnt.
I had a red puffy mustache and red puffy eyebrows.
And I also had these burnt hairs sticking abnormally out of place everywhere! Beautchiful! But no aunty dearest, you were right.
I look gorgeous this way and I shall definitely find a husband today on my way home while I look like a clown roaming the streets!
I haven’t gone to the hairdresser’s in years.
I like myself the way I am whether you, the colonialists, men, or anybody else likes it or not!