The Parable of Compliments

Salomé is not on the list.

Salomé hasn’t even made a number.

The hierarchy ignores her existence and she goes unacknowledged.

She thinks she needs more make-up, more clothes, more hair-dye.


Salomé sees the other girls and starts thinking in comparisons.

She starts adapting, moulding, erasing herself.

She will never make the juvenile list. Despite her efforts.

Salomé discovers ways into the boys’ brains.


She will be limitlessly tolerant, encouraging and open-minded.

There is no space for her.

Salomé imitates the behaviour of the boys, degrading and superficial. Blind.

She takes whatever attention she can get.


Men, strangers, send her pictures of herself.

Her smiling face on their screen, a picture of it on her screen.

‘This is what you do to me’, the text beneath it states.

Salomé has never met any of them.


The girl looks at the pictures, ten of them, of her with this runny thing on her face.

This never happened. Yet here it is.

Salomé was so happy on these pictures, sex wasn’t on her mind.

The sick feeling in her stomach changed quickly, that’s how it works.


She looked at them all. What he said.

And took it as a compliment. Approval.

Is that what being on the list entails?

Salomé took off her make-up. Blemished.

beautiful bloom blooming blossom
Photo by Pixabay on






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