When I was in the 7th grade,
My gym class teacher told me in the playground in front of all of my classmates
“Look at how big your boobs are? Are you not wearing a bra?”
She made fun of me and they laughed.
Even since then I genuinely hate my boobs.
body image, bullying
I’ve always been chubby.
My family didn’t have a problem with that,
And they never told me that I needed to lose weight.
But when I was young,
Mama didn’t like dressing me in revealing clothing,
So that no one would give me the evil eye.
I’m a 22 year old girl,
And many of my problems revolve around the way I look.
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.
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
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.
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
I’ve always had curly hair. I hated it as a child.
I thought there was something wrong with it.
I’d pray to God to make my hair straight.
I made peace with my hair when I grew up.
That’s when I liked having curly hair.
But it’s the people around me who make me feel that something is wrong with it.
beauty standards, bullying, hair, body image
I’m a 32-year-old man,
And I struggle with being overweight.
Every morning I wake up and look at myself in the mirror,
And feel disgusted with my body.
I can’t love it, and I can’t change it.
I get really hurt by people’s comments.
body image, bullying
My parents made me wear the hijab when I was young,
Because I’m hairy.
That’s the word my mother used.
“She’s hairy like her aunt.
Since primary school until college,
The main point of my clothes was to hide my body hair.
During an awards ceremony at school, the principal refused to shake hands with me.
Even though she greeted and congratulated all the others.
“What’s wrong with your hair?” she said.
“I wish you’d brush your hair for once,” she used to tell me whenever she’d see me.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying