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,
And green eyes.
I am olive-skinned.
There’s nothing special about my features; I look like any other Egyptian.
I have oily skin.
I’ve had acne since I was a teenager,
And I didnt know how to deal with it.
I was bullied at school a lot as a kid.
“Wash your face! You look dirty.”
“You look like so and so, but she looks cleaner than you!”
These are the kinds of things I would hear as a kid from my colleagues and sometimes even my own family.
I am dark skinned,
And I don't know when I started to hate how I look,
Nor when I convinced myself that I was not pretty.
I’m sure my parents think I am ugly.
Even my brother would say things like,
“I rejected a potential wife, because she looked like you.”
I just finished reading one of your stories,
About a mother who body shamed her daughter.
My relationship with my mother has been traumatic.
My mother always did the same thing:
She’d make fun of how I looked generally,
Not just my weight,
Even though I wasn’t fat before I got married,
But she always said I looked poor.
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.
I was born with crossed eyes.
It’s supposedly subtle,
But it bothers me,
And affects me emotionally,
Because everyone who talks to me,
Looks straight at my eye.
“Did you used to wear glasses?” a lot of people have asked me.
I actually have perfect vision.