The Shame of Speed

Trigger Warning "Look at how she walks. She is going to be hot as popcorn." I was 7 years old. The scorn of the words met the scorn in the eyes of female family members as they gathered, watching me cavort in the company of my same- aged girl cousins, gathered in a game of hide and go seek. The looks of the older girls and women who watched confirmed that while I didn't know what being “hot as popcorn” meant, I knew it wasn't good. I was confused about what it was about my bony and brown body that signaled this prophesy, but it was only one of many ways and only one of many times I was convinced, in my single digit years, that I was bad. That there was something inherent to my skin, to my walk, to my very existence that offended adults.

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