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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The Facebook Group that Changed My Life

2018

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

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.

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Stay Out of It

2018

I started wearing the hijab when I was 11 years old.
I took the decision to take it off.
At work, Hassan, the security guy didn’t recognize me right away.
“Good morning, Ms. Why did you do that?”
I know he meant well.
body image, hair, beauty standards, bullying

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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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Disgusting Hair

2018

These are some of the comments I’ve received:
“Mophead!”
“Cuckoo!”
“The girl with disgusting hair.”
“Her hair is ugly.”
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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The Way They See Me

2019

I’m a man in my twenties.
Who has zero self-esteem.
I have always been bullied by the people I love for the way I look.
I’m neither dark-skinned,
Nor fair-skinned.
I’m tall, but not thin,
My body is disproportionate somehow.

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Hiding My Hair

2018

But I remember the way the hairdresser looked at my hair when I took off the hijab in front of her.
She was surprised it was curly.
She would make fun of my hair to the other people in the salon.
I think she used to hurt me on purpose when she was straightening it.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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The Girl with Curly Hair

2019

I am a curly-haired girl.
Everyone calls my hair scraggly.
Everyone insists that I should straighten it,
But I don’t want to.

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Eurocentric Beauty Standards

2018

My mother had always wanted a daughter with European features.
Luckily, I was born with European features.
People couldn’t even tell that I was Egyptian.
But, unfortunately, I had curly hair.
I got all sorts of comments from my family and people I wasn’t even related to.
“Poor thing. She’s beautiful but she has bad hair.”
Can you imagine a 6-year-old getting her hair done at the hairdresser’s almost every week?
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards

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Eyesore

2018

It was a family outing.
Almost everyone said,
“What’s wrong with your hair?”
“Straighten the frizz out of it.”
“Are you trying to be an eyesore on purpose?”
They were insensitive to my feelings as they made fun of me.
body image, hair, bullying, beauty standards, social pressure

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