Home 9 Issue 9 White Paper Girl by Hannah Gumpert

Hannah Gumpert, age 13


I wrote this at a WriteGirl workshop and feel it is true for everyone, not just me. We each have things that we project or that people see when they look at us, and we assume wrong things about others, and they assume wrong things about us. We are all white paper, and we are the ones who fill it in.

White Paper Girl

Sometimes I feel like I’m wearing
a white paper mask,
and behind it is me.
Quiet girl. White girl. Straight girl. Lonely girl.
Girl who isn’t me.
I don’t try to hide it,
who I am,
but people assume:
Who you are
What you are
What you like
What you feel.
You are white paper,
and they fill you in with their thoughts.
But what they assume isn’t always right.
Creative girl. Mixed girl. Bi girl. Happy girl.
They look at that girl,
past her, through her.
They look at her,
but they don’t see her.
The mask tears away
like the paper it is
when they dig deeper,
when they get to know me.
I am a white paper girl
wearing a white paper mask.