I Prefer Giraffes

Growing up as a tall Black girl from the projects on the east side of Buffalo, NY, I faced many challenges. I was teased for my height, for being too skinny, for having short hair, and for lacking a certain level of swag. I was called ugly, weird, lanky, and the name that hurt the most—giraffe. This association weighed heavily on my already fragile self-esteem and even affected my posture. To avoid the teasing, I would contort myself to appear smaller and shorter.

But then something liberating happened. One day, while channel surfing, I stumbled upon an Animal Planet series on giraffes. The narrator spoke of their elegance, graceful gallop, and how their long necks serve multiple purposes beyond feeding. This new perspective helped me embrace my long and lean frame. Maybe my stride could be associated with the elegance of a giraffe proudly taking up space in the jungle.

My takeaway? Someone else’s opinion of you doesn’t have to become your reality! After this revelation, many years ago, I claimed the giraffe as my spirit animal. I now have two beautiful Black wrought iron giraffes in my living space. While I didn’t see any giraffes in person during my visit to South Africa, the phenomenal giraffe sculpture in Cape Town was sufficient.

Everything that happens to us, although not our fault, is meant for us. With the right tools and a healthy perspective, we can leverage these experiences for the better.

Your experiences don’t define you; they refine you!


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LibHERate with


My aim is to share with you the tools. kits, tricks and strategies I've spent thousands of dollars on, the numerous years in college and earning certifications; so you can be delibHERate about your life! The last greatest freedom is the freedom to decide. And today... you have decided to paddle your own canoe.