Victor Ndukwe
4 min readMay 20, 2023


A Tale of Insecurities and Measuring Up!

The unspoken agreement...

Before we proceed, on this page, we have an unwritten rule that if what you’re about to read interests you, you’re going to clap, share and follow this page. No, I’m not going to ask you to sign anything. Like Nike, I trust you to just do it.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way...

Let us delve into the intriguing tale of Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s contemplation of their manhood.


While scrolling through my Saturday morning social media routine, I stumbled upon a fascinating excerpt about Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Intrigued, I delved deeper into the story to uncover more details.

Here’s what I found:

F. Scott Fitzgerald, the brilliant wordsmith renowned for his magnum opus, The Great Gatsby, found himself bound in matrimony to a woman named Zelda Sayre.

While their union appeared powerful and influential as they captivated Europe with their flashy personalities and extravagant parties, their relationship was filled with cheating, jealousy, alcoholism, mental struggles, manipulation, and constant fights.

During a heated argument, Zelda said something that deeply affected Fitzgerald, leaving him confused and demoralized. Disturbed by this revelation, he turned to his trusted friend and contemporary of that era, Ernest Hemingway, for comfort.

In his book, A Moveable Feast, Hemingway recounts a meeting with Fitzgerald in a charming Paris café. They enjoyed a delicious cherry tart and a glass of wine. It was during this moment that Fitzgerald finally opened up about his worries...

"Zelda remarked that my physical attributes (dick size) could never bring true happiness to any woman, which was the cause of her initial distress. According to her, it all boiled down to measurements. Ever since she made that remark, I have been plagued by self-doubt, and I yearn to ascertain the truth."

Intrigued by Fitzgerald's admission, Hemingway proposed a rendezvous at "Le Water," a discreet location tucked away from prying eyes. Guided by curiosity, Fitzgerald joined him in the bathroom, where, after lowering his trousers, he subjected himself to Hemingway's keen assessment...

"Rest assured, you are perfectly adequate."

To further alleviate his fears and worries, he imparted to Fitzgerald a profound lesson on the true essence of masculinity...

"It is not the initial size that matters; it is the growth it achieves."

I find this particular moment to be profoundly captivating. It unearths the vulnerability within one of America’s most illustrious literary figures, showcasing the internal struggle with insecurity that even the greatest minds encounter.
This story of Hemingway and Fitzgerald holds valuable moral lessons that resonate beyond their personal experiences. Let us explore these lessons further:

Insecurities are universal: Even Hemingway and Fitzgerald, with their literary prowess and public personas, faced insecurities. It’s a reminder that everyone, regardless of success or appearance, can struggle with self-doubt and vulnerability. This teaches us empathy, urging us to show compassion to others, understanding that they may be fighting their own inner battles.

Words hold power: Zelda's remark about Fitzgerald's physical attributes deeply affected him, demonstrating the impact that words can have on an individual's self-perception. It serves as a reminder to choose our words carefully, for they can either uplift or shatter someone's confidence. We should strive to use language to inspire, encourage, and support one another.

Seek validation within yourself: Fitzgerald's quest for reassurance from Hemingway reveals the dangers of relying solely on external validation. True self-worth should not be dependent on others' opinions or judgments. Instead, it should arise from a deep-rooted belief in one's own abilities, qualities, and value. This lesson encourages us to cultivate self-acceptance and inner strength, looking inward for validation rather than seeking it from external sources.

Comparison is a futile pursuit: Hemingway's advice to Fitzgerald to observe the statues at the Louvre and his own reflection from an alternate angle highlights the futility of comparison. When we constantly measure ourselves against others or unrealistic standards, we invite feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction. Embracing our unique qualities and individual journeys allows us to appreciate our own growth and accomplishments without the need for comparison.

True masculinity transcends physicality: Hemingway's profound insight that "it is not the initial size that matters; it is the growth it achieves" carries a deeper message about the nature of masculinity. It suggests that the true measure of a man lies not in physical attributes or superficial traits, but in personal growth, character development, and the impact he has on the world. This lesson encourages us to redefine traditional notions of masculinity and focus on qualities such as empathy, integrity, kindness, and emotional intelligence.

Be kind in words and in deeds

Above all, this story reminds us that vulnerability and insecurities are a shared human experience, and by embracing empathy and compassion, we can build a more supportive and understanding world.