I used to always straighten my hair.
I was ridiculed when I stopped.
One time, my friends shared a Bob Marley song on our group chat. They were making fun of me.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards
I’m a guy.
I weigh 135 kg.
I’ve been bullied ever since I was 10.
People would make fun of the size of my chest.
It started around puberty.
My voice started to change.
It became very deep.
To the extent that if someone heard my voice,
Without seeing me,
They’d think I was an old man.
It’s happened to me a lot.
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.
Ever since I was young,
I was told that my hair wasn’t nice.
I’ve been straightening my hair since elementary school.
Everyone around me made fun of me.
They called me “brillo pad.”
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.
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
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
I’ve always struggled with my body image.
I went to an all-girls school, and I was very athletic.
I was taller than the other girls, bulkier.
I always looked messy from playing sports during break time.
I always got called a tomboy and was given only “manly” roles at school plays.
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