Without Damaging It

2018

I’ve always loved curly hair,
But I never knew how to maintain it.
I didn’t even know my hair was considered curly.
I just thought it was always frizzy because I never took care of it.
I got a protein treatment once,
And on that day, the hairdresser washed it and dried it with a blow dryer.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Pimples

2019

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.

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Relaxer

2018

When I was young, my mother used to cut my hair even though I would beg her not to.
I had always wanted to have long hair.
“Your hair looks like a loofa,” she would always say.
I couldn’t tie it back when it was short.
It looked terrible under the hijab with the school uniform.
I was bullied at school because of my hair.
People would touch it and make fun of me.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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Frizzy Hair

2018

I used to always hear negative comments when I was a kid about my hair and looks.
My mother never told me that my hair looked nice.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Big Lips

2019

I’m very handsome,
Thank God.
But I was very thin as a teenager,
Which made my facial features look big,
Especially my lips.

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Tall and Wide

2019

I’m tall,
And a little chubby.
So what?
It’s not a crime.
But in our perfect, flawless society,
It’s a great opportunity,
For laughter,
And ha-has.
Sure, go ahead.

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Give an Inch, Take a Mile

2017

The first time he hit me was the day I found out I was pregnant.
He picked a fight with me when his friend and his wife were having dinner with us,
And I fried the mombar (a kind of sausage dish),
Before the chicken breasts.
He pulled me by my hair,
And dragged me to the stove,
And threatened to set me on fire to get rid of me.

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Why Do I Have Ugly Hair?

2018

“Why isn’t my hair pretty like yours?
Why isn’t it soft like my friends’ hair at school?
Why do I keep screaming whenever my mom fixes it for me?”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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A Flawed Partner

2019

We live in a society,
That determines whether you’ll be accepted or not,
Based on your weight,
Hair type,
Eye color,
And skin tone.

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The Curse of Turning 18

2019

My family was always very critical,
And they tended to make fun of people.
I was born with flawed joints.
I could walk very well and run and all that,
But when I stood,
My knees bent backward,
At first sight, it looked like my legs had been amputated.
My family always called me “Miss knees,”
And my mother always made fun of me in front of my siblings.
She thought I was inverting my knees like this on purpose.
She once even called me “disabled,”
And told me to straighten my knees.

FULL STORY
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