Chubbers

2019

I have always been overweight,
And my family comments about my body all the time.
I used to feel like I was public property,
That anyone could look at me and my body and call me,
“Fat” or “chubby”.
I was the butt of jokes at family gatherings,
Which I hated more than anything.
body image, beauty standards, bullying, marriage

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Decent-looking

2019

When I was little,
I didn’t like my face,
Because I had a big nose.
You laughed, didn’t you?
That’s understandable.
But it really hurts.
Your comments about the way I look kill me,
And believe me,
I’ll never show that I’m upset.
On the contrary,
I might even joke about my appearance along with you.

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Gastric Sleeve Surgery

2019

I’ve always been fat,
And they don’t let me forget that at home.
They tell me I need to stop eating.
My father always embarrasses me during gatherings,
Especially when we’re visiting friends or relatives.
He’d give me a disapproving look if I take an extra serving of food.

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Go Hide!

2019

I attended university outside of my governorate.
I used to brush my hair in the bathroom,
Because I didn't want any of the other girls to bother me.
I started realizing there were a lot of people like me,
When I started being active on social media.
These girls weren’t ashamed of their hair.
They went out in public with their curly hair.
I even read articles about the experiences of girls with curly hair.
It made me ask myself if my hair was something to be embarrassed about.
Why was I scared?
These stories gave me the courage to accept my hair as is.

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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

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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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Jaw Deformity

2019

I have a jaw deformity.
I was born with it.
So were my siblings.
It’s genetic,
But my parents fixed theirs early on so it was easy.
There’s an age gap between me and my siblings,
So by the time I got here,
My parents had a lot of issues,
And we couldn't fix mine.

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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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Mop Head

2018

My paternal grandmother always had a brush,
And loads of hair products ready with her to tame my “unruly”, unkempt hair.
She would sit me down on my knees,
pull at my hair painfully until it got detangled,
then she would apply a lot of hair cream,
pull my hair back into a bun or braid it,
Until the curls were no longer visible.

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Not Pretty Like Them

2018

My hair is curly. But my mother and relatives aren’t convinced.
“Are you going out with your hair all messy like that?” my mother would always tell me on my way out.
“Won’t you do something about your hair?” she’d tell me on our way to family gatherings.
“Don’t come with me if you won’t straighten your hair.”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

FULL STORY
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