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Illustration by Livi Wilson


I am unlearning my mother’s beliefs

I am unlearning what valuing myself—my own skin—means

I am unlearning the notion that others’ success equals less on my plate,
that I should compete with my sister for my father’s attention,
that “enough” is having better grades than my schoolmates.

I am unlearning what defines my worth
I am unlearning my beliefs about the financial world
because every penny I make can be a vessel to carry forward social change
and make a significant difference in this time and age

I am unlearning the lie that other women are my enemies, and that their successes devalue my future achievements

I am unlearning what being this person, this woman I am today means
I am unlearning the habit of asking permission for my existence and apologising for honest mistakes

I am unlearning what it takes to get rid of shame
I am unlearning definitions of my sexuality, my pleasure and this physical body of a goddess I was given.

I am unlearning the perception of every inch of this skin,
every persistent thick black hair, every mole and freckle from my left shoulder to my right ankle, and different-sized nipples.

I am reclaiming my own needs
it feels like falling in love

with a person I’ve always wanted to meet.

Sara Kärpänen, 2019

Illustration by Livi Wilson

Livi Wilson is an illustrator based in Bristol. Her illustrations reflect a simple and clean style and are often inspired by her interests, which include travel, literature, food and well-being.

See more of her work on her website

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