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My mother told me 

That I shouldn’t leave my heart open

Why

I asked 

But what about love

What about all those movies and books we read 

those soapy stories with fairy tale endings 

Not gonna happen.

In the real world

No one is responsible for keeping your heart intact

///

My mother told me 

That I must smile

Even when I need to cry

When I am suffocated by the madness that surrounds me

When I no longer want to squeeze all my anger into a pinch in my heart 

Why 

But girls, 

We laughandcryandshoutandcurseandkissandfight

Some girls are not born with the rights to be themselves

Be aware, there are standards, 

Cups and sizes,

Darling, I’m sorry

We are not those beauties who can turn beasts into princes

Pretty girls are outgoing but the rest are desperate and asking for it

Why

Why are we even labeling girls

Yh     w

Wh          y

But 

   W        h      y 

My mother is cruel:

No,

My mother was once 

                  Me.                            

Society is cruel.

I am cruel.

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Emily Lin

UC Berkeley '25

Emily Lin is a first-year at UC Berkeley studying Political Science and Gender and Women's Studies. She is passionate about writing and creating social changes. Emily is an infp, a certified original Sagittarius, and in her free time, loves to write poetry and try new food.
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