Shaving Cream

Shaving Cream

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.


INTO Editor