Even More Beautiful

2019

I’ve always been fat though with varying degrees.
I’m on a diet now, and I’m trying to eat healthy.

All my life, people have been telling me to lose weight,
Regardless of who these people are and what sort of relationship I have with them.
body image, bullying, beauty standards, parents

FULL STORY

It Ruined My Teenage Years

2019

I’m a boy and I’ve had gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts) ever since I was young.
I used to tell myself that it’s not a big deal,
And that it’s only a matter of years and it will go away.
Unfortunately, this ruined my teenage years.
body image, bullying, masculinity

FULL STORY

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

FULL STORY

Pretty Picture

2019

“Her picture will be so dark, you won’t even be able to see her.”

I tried to say something,

But my tongue was tied.

I tried to ignore the slight,

Pretend I didn’t hear it,

Just focus on the camera.

But I wasn’t able to, unfortunately.

The result was as horrible as could be.

FULL STORY

The Color of My Skin

2019

Some people at university would compliment my skin tone and ask me,
“How do you get so tan?”
I would tell them that it wasn’t a tan.
It was my skin color.
I thought they were making fun of me,
And that something was wrong with me.

FULL STORY

Why Do You Look Like That?

2019

Mama likes to make remarks about everything:
“Why do you look like that?”
“Why do you look pale?”
“Why are there dark circles under your eyes?”
“Why are there dark spots around your mouth?”
“Why are you eating like that?”
“Why are your fingers so long?”

FULL STORY

The Handicapped Section

2019

My parents are Nubian.
I was born olive-skinned,
Like most Egyptians.
My brother, however,
Who’s a year and a half older than me,
Was darker-skinned,
Like most Nubians.
That’s not the only problem:
My brother has a disability:
A chronic ulcer on the sole of his foot.

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

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

FULL STORY

Side Profile Pictures

2019

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.

FULL STORY
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