Throughout my life, I’ve always came across miss falls. No miss fall in my life can compare to how much I got made fun of back in my elementary and middle school years. Throughout elementary school to the end of the 7th grade, I got made fun of for my ugly, bushy hair from school mates to random people. Everyone would call me afro head, bush, and grandma. I hated my hair. Ironically, old women, or shall I say “grandmas” loved my hair. Those who called me grandma imagined me as one. I was not born with this ugly hair; it was cut into this fashion after my hair turned curly in the second grade.
Every month or so, starting from 3rd grade to the end of the 7th grade, my mother would take me to the salon and tell the hairdressers to cut my already poofy short hair shorter. She didn’t know what else to do; she thought that cutting my curly hair short would tame it. She was wrong. She should’ve known that the shorter you cut curly hair, the poofier it gets. Unfortunately, she didn’t know that time nor did I. I always learned to get my hair cut this way because I was too ignorant to know what hairstyles were out there for hair like mine.
Throughout the years of getting my hair cut in this way, I just learned to accept it because I had no control over it. The only thing I didn’t accept was myself.
I remember going through a phase in the 7th grade that dramatically changed my appearance. I got so tired of having “grandma” hair and being made fun of that I started straightening my hair in the front and on the sides with a crappy $15 straightener from the drugstore. Not being able to straighten the back of my hair because it was too difficult, I left the back curly. At one point, I even spray painted my bangs purple with the temporary hair color spray you find at the drugstore.
Looking back at it, what was I thinking? It didn’t look flattering, nor did the eyeliner and eye shadow I wore just to try and make myself look and feel prettier. As this phase seceded, I was back to curly hair. I finally convinced my mom to stop taking me to the salon in the 7th grade so I can grow it out. By the beginning of the 8th grade, my hair changed from grandma hair to short, curly defined hair that poofed to the sides. My hair in the 8th grade was so much better than the afro poofed grandma hair I previously had.
I stopped getting made fun of from that point on. As I enjoyed not being made fun of, another thing ruined my outlook on myself after 3 months of not being ridiculed. Starting from December of that year to the beginning of 9th grade, my face got bombarded with moderate acne. Instead of being made fun of for having ugly hair like I did before, now I was getting made fun of for having ugly skin. This time, less people made fun of me for it compared to the time I had that ugly, poofy hair I greatly despised. Although less people made fun of me, I still felt crappy about myself.
What really affected me was when my best friend, now ex-friend, would make fun of me out of nowhere about my skin, as well as the other flaws I had. It wasn’t my fault I had this condition. It was the facial her mother gave me one night that started this mess. Why make fun of me for it. She was someone I looked up to, someone that meant a lot to me. Hearing her criticize me for my skin and asserting how much smarter she was compared to me made me feel a lot worst about myself than I did when I got criticized from other people. Looking back, I’m glad I’m not friends with her anymore.
Throughout this 5 year course of being teased, I managed to ignore those who made fun of me. It was hard at times, but I managed to pull through. I felt unworthy and ugly when I had grandma hair and acne. I never had the chance to accept myself, think of myself as pretty, or gain confidence with all the ridicule I’ve experienced. In fact, I never had a chance to obtain confidence within those 5 years. That’s why it’s hard for me to accept myself at times.
Now, I accept myself more than I previously did. My hair is now longer and curlier and my acne has subsided. I still have acne, but not as bad as before.
Those of you who get made fun of constantly, like I did, just ignore whoever makes fun of you and stay strong. Ignoring them will eventually make them stop. No bully wants to be ignored because it doesn’t give them a chance to ridicule someone for their own benefit. It’s obvious they are criticizing and bullying you just to help make them feel superior to you. Why should they make fun of you for their own benefit to help make them feel superior to you if it’s so pathetic? They should be the ones being criticized for their stupidity. Even friends do this sometimes (like my ex best friend). Friends who do this to you are not true friends. They are not worth your time!
Image: A Way Back To Then from Flickr