When I hugged a friend of mine

2017

I hugged my friend out in public because he needed it, and because I needed it too.
When I heard the comments, I pulled away from him by saying, “What’s this? You’re crying?”
But I had wanted to keep on hugging him until he had let it all out.
I wanted to hug him without fearing or worrying what passersby would say.

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All Rolls of Fat

2019

Mama used to always tell me,
“I used to cry because you refused to eat.
You weighed only 8 kilos when you were five,
And you were going to die!”
When I turned 6,
I started gaining weight, and then gaining some more.
I started getting comments at home, then at school, then from society at large.
body image, beauty standards, bullying, mental health

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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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Nubian Descent

2019

I have dark skin,
And I adore it.
I’m an Egyptian girl of Nubian descent,
But I don’t live in Nubia.
I never get a break from people’s comments:
On the streets, at school, or any place I go.
body image, bullying, racism, beauty standards

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Not Pretty Like Other Girls

2019

I really, really hate how I look.
I have zero self-confidence.
I have issues when it comes to food and eating.
I often don’t have an appetite,
And it shows on my face:
It’s thin and pale,
And my nose is the biggest thing on my face.
I get a lot of horrible comments and looks of pity.

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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.

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Man Boobs

2017

I have always been a little chubby, ever since I was a little kid.
I started to develop breasts as a teenager.
The condition I have is called “gynecomastia”, or “enlarged breast tissue in men”.
Although it’s prevalent among men, I was subject to a lot of ridicule from classmates.

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