Behind My Mother’s Back

2019

I remember during my early teenage years,
When I’d go the beach with my family.
I was 2 or 3 kilos overweight.
Mama has been commenting on my weight and the way my body looks ever since.
body image, parents, bullying

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Extra Long Toes

2019

I was born with extra long toes.
It was why I was bullied often as a kid.
I became self-conscious about wearing anything that exposed my toes.
I always wore socks to avoid any annoying comments or questions like,
“What’s up with your toes? Why aren’t they all the same length?”
I get a lot of exclamations and comments like,
“Poor thing, what are you going to do about them when you get older?”

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The Science Teacher

2015

When I was in middle school, I loved my science teacher so much.
I was a good student so he, too, loved me.
During winter breaks, they always gave us a lot of homework to do.
One time during the break, I got sick and went to Cairo to get treated,
So I didn’t do the homework.

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This Is My Hair

2018

“Frizzy-haired!”
“Need a brush?”
“How come you don’t brush your hair?”
“Who electrocuted you?”
“A doctor shouldn’t look like that.”
“You need to brush your hair, dear, or it’ll collect dirt.”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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You Need to to Lose Weight

2019

I was an active child when I was young.
I did gymnastics and never skipped a lesson.
However, I wasn't blessed when puberty hit me,
As I gained an enormous amount of weight.
body image, social stigma, social pressure, bullying

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The Remaining Traces of Rejection

2019

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,
Blonde hair,
And green eyes.

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Kitchen Stove

2018

“What’s up with your hair? Put water or oils on it to make it softer.”
“Why is your hair like that? Why do you have such ugly hair?”
“Have your mother style it for you because it looks horrible like that.”
“Looks like the doorman’s wife styles your hair.”
beauty standards, hair, body image, bullying, social pressure

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Afraid to Hold My Hand

2019

I’m a 22 year old girl,
And many of my problems revolve around the way I look.
I’m overweight,
And I’m considered to be the fattest girl in my family.
Ever since I was little,
I’ve been asked questions like,
“Why aren’t you thin?”
“Where do you get your fatness from?’
“Do you eat your siblings’ food?”
They make fun of me,
And repeatedly bully me.
Many others go through the same thing.

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Like a Beggar

2019

I was never good at picking out clothes,
Or following trends.
I was never exactly a fashionista.
I liked wearing whatever made me feel comfortable,
And whatever colors I liked.
I liked wearing long clothes as well.
I don’t like wearing makeup.
My parents always told me that I looked like a “beggar.”

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Run, You Cow, Run!

2017

I’m 24 years old.
I’ve had low self-esteem ever since I was 13 because of my weight.
People always stare at me and make fun of me because I’m fat.
“Will you be the one breastfeeding the kids when you’re married?”
body image, social stigma, bullying

FULL STORY
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