They Said I Looked Like A Gnome

A Tale From My Girlhood

2 min readApr 13, 2023
Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

I can remember my head being too big for my body or at least that is how my teen mind saw it. Either way, I had my head anchored on their thin legs as they stroked oil into my relaxed hair. We had barely known each other for a month, but for middle school kids that meant we had known each other our whole life.

They were ranting on and on about Elves and Lord of the Rings, and how they felt they could easily pass for one. They were tall, skinny, and the palest shade of brown you could find. The description of the elves that they gave stirred something in the 14-year-old Jehovah’s Witness version of me.

photo of Zaria Rashay [2021]

Hearing how ethereal these elves sounded pushed me to ask my friend what mythical creature they saw me as. With their fingers deep into my oily tresses, they say “Girl, you look like a gnome.” That phrase stuck with me in the same way my mother saying girl-next-door did. She was always pushing me to try something new with my look.

As an adult now armed with more knowledge in both the world of fashion and fantasy, I see what they were trying to say. My friend saying I reminded her of a gnome was her unknowingly hinting that my style essence was the Ingenue. When my mother called me the girl next door, that was her way of telling me I also had a Natural essence.

photo of Zaria Rashay [2019]

These days I pull my inspiration from fairies and nymphs by adding outdoor elements into my style. Thus, I would consider my style essence a Romantic Natural with Ingenue essence. When I do go for a change in my style, it usually lands on Gamine because of its similarities to the Ingenue essence.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I would love to read your thoughts and feedback in the comment section. If you found this post enjoyable, I invite you to visit my Pinterest for your daily source of inspiration. If you are feeling bold, check out my nighttime musings as a poetess. Join me there for a world of creative ideas and captivating content.




A look at the world through the eyes of a poetess, production designer and seamstress. ; instagram @artz.sea @zariarashay