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(Read the full zine here.)

You see waves of Lorde, curls

of Taapsee, or coils of Shahidi,

You spit numerous words starting with "un" –

Unruly, Unkempt, Unprofessional, Unfeminine.

You drag a brush through my

sacred forest

Trying to bend the trees that bush

up and the vines that spring up.

You suffocate my locks with heats and chemicals

To bend them to the will of beauty standards long upheld.

What is it that makes your limp, straight hair better than mine?

What makes you think my crown is any less precious compared to thine?

You don't want to see the bold and different.

You don't care about my identity.

You want my hair like smooth waters of a river, always flowing downward;

You want uniformity.

And I was wrong to think you'll let the river flow free.

You'll trap it into a channel of braids

Lest the silly boys start thinking with their penises instead of their brains.

And even as you try to do this, you see that my curls keep springing up,

Like an arrow after it tried to bend a string.

You call it unruly, unkempt, unprofessional, unfeminine.

But the one word you forgot is untameable.

My curls spring up; they flow in the wind.

They fall soft on my hips.

I could cuddle up in them,

And forget my worries exist.

I wear this crown of curls with pride and grace.

I was born with this untameable spirit.

It is my identity, and I will own it.

You have no right to ask me to bend and break it.

(Read the full zine here.)

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