Shaving Cream

· Updated on June 20, 2018

In this society, Black men are perceived as the epitome of masculinity. I have always been Black and effeminate so I had pressure from the men around me to eventually assimilate to their toxic behaviors.

At the same time I also had to navigate society’s infatuation with straight, cisgender, white men, as I am none of those things.

I have always known that men are toxic, and I never wanted to be considered one of them. I was taught that hair was a sign of manhood, so after I began to grow hair, I would routinely shave on Sunday nights to avoid being perceived as a man.

The razor became a metaphor in my life for struggles with my presentation.

During my time shaving I dealt with my internal anti-blackness, relationship to eurocentric beauty standards, my interactions with men, and where I fit in the gender spectrum.

I wrote this poem to heal myself from the marks toxic masculinity has left on my body & to remind myself and others that masculinity ain’t shit.

Amir Khadar is a Black nonbinary multidisciplinary artist and activist. Their artwork focuses on deconstructing systems of oppression, and practicing unapologetic self love. Amir is currently studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

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