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Welcome to the Picture it & Write creative writing exercise. I invite people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (please provide a translation). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pinterest.

Please continue to write however you’re inspired, but add a tag to the beginning of your post if there’s mature content in order to keep Picture it & Write an engaging event for all of our followers.

This piece contains mature language.

giant ogre

To the woman at the gym: Thank you for what you perceived as a complement. Yes, I am tall. But that is not something worth complementing any more than if you were congratulating me for having a vagina. I know you meant well, but I am not “blessed” for being tall. Did you think about how your words might have affected others, short people in the locker room who you would not consider “blessed” because of their short stature? Being tall is not something to aspire to. It is not something you can change without drastic and painful surgeries.

Tell me my smile is beautiful. Tell me I look really cute in my dress. Complement me for lasting an hour and a half on the elliptical. These are things I can change. They are within my control.

I do not need others to be worse off than me to feel blessed. “You are so tall and someone else could be in a wheel chair. When someone complements your height, you should say, ‘yes, I am blessed!'” You could not understand what was going through my mind as you scolded me. I wish I could have put my thoughts into words then rather than standing there and smiling at you, at a loss for what to say. That person in the wheel chair could have an amazing life. They could be a car crash survivor who feels far more blessed to be alive than I feel about being tall.

I do not need others to be worse off than me to be happy. It’s not a race. It’s not a comparison. More than that, you chose something I can’t control. It doesn’t matter if I like being tall or not. Don’t complement me for being tall. Don’t undervalue other people for being short. Don’t congratulate people for having a vagina or a penis. Those are not complements. Those are facts. Statements. Do not bring others down for things they cannot control. I wish I could have handed you this post, and explained that I don’t need others to mute themselves, don’t need others to shine less brightly to be happy with who I am. Don’t encourage me to feel superior over others because of my physical stature.

Eliabeth Hawthorne

Picture it & Write now supports The Girl Effect, a movement empowering girls to break the cycle of poverty in their communities, countries, and world. All profits from the publication are donated to this cause.

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