• Wed, Jan 29 - 4:00 pm ET

Things Women Should Stop Apologizing For

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

I am always apologizing. My sisters say it’s because I’m a pushover. I blame that (and all of my problems) on the Middle Child Syndrome. To the stranger who rudely pushed me to get on the subway, I’m sorry. To my peer who failed an exam because they didn’t study, I’m sorry. To the waiter who messed up my order, I’m sorry.

Granted, I also apologize when it’s imperative; like overindulging at my sisters wedding (damn you, Cab Sauv), or for sending obnoxious drunk texts (like WTF does ‘sejfkes’ even mean?) and for cursing unnecessarily at the TV screen (I can’t handle how many tears already exist on The Bachelor, okay? Did ya hear that Sharleen?).

But in general, I think women (not just middle children) typically over-apologize. I recognize that my excessive atoning habits, as a “pushover” (or whatever), will likely not change, however, for the sake of our gender here are crucial things that we needed to stop apologizing for yesterday.

1. Stop apologizing for: dieting.
For the love of kale! Let me drink my green smoothies in yoga pants and peace. Don’t detract from my self pride when I reject sugar and carbs in all of their caloric, delicious, temptingly doughy glory. There should be no thin-shaming for wanting to live a healthy lifestyle, or for adhering to this four-letter curse: diet.

2. Stop apologizing for: not dieting.
Go ahead and order your little house salad with dressing on the side, your abs are eternally grateful. But, I want a cheeseburger, french fries and the dessert menu without providing justification, oh I had a rough week, or it’s that time of the month. How about: I’m hungry and I want to thoroughly enjoy every gram of fat.

3. Stop apologizing for: wearing makeup.
I wear makeup, often. I refresh my makeup, frequently. I think I look like a gremlin without it, always. I’m all team Sephora over here and I don’t need your mascara-less eyes glaring at me for glamorizing my face/boosting my self confidence.  

4. Stop apologizing for: not wearing makeup.
OMG my face is naked, the horror! No I’m not sleepy, nor am I sick, or headed to the gym, so don’t you dare ask me that just because I skipped on eye liner and blush. Maybe my whole I-just-rolled-out-of-bed thing is trying to become the new natural beauty. Either way, I’m not apologizing for how I look.

5. Stop apologizing for: spending too much money on clothing.
If I had bigger boobs, I would totally spend an impractical amount of money on them (in the form of expensive bras). But, instead my kryptonite is workout garb. Did Carrie Bradshaw ever make amends for a purchase of Manolo’s? Pampering thy self is not apology worthy.

6. Stop apologizing for: wanting a career and not a baby.
Should I apologize for dedicating all of my time to my baby (aka my career) and not wanting something that is a conditional expectation to my gender? Rebellion! 

7. Stop apologizing for: wanting a baby and not a career.
My mother is a stay-at-home mom and she’s my very favorite person (I love you too, Dad). So is my best friend. I will not accept mom-shaming. Or anti-feminist claims. Or any forms of abashment for this lifestyle choice. I’m looking at you, Amy Glass.

8. Stop apologizing for: wanting both.
You can put the Betty Draper fantasy to rest. Sorry I can multitask better than your Macbook. Since I’m having my cake and eating it, too, I prefer German Chocolate, although a moist, boxed funfetti will also suffice.

9. Stop apologizing for: sex.
Slut. Yeah I know, we get it. Prude, hag, yeah we’ve heard those too. It’s universal and personal and ultimately shouldn’t matter if you love it, hate it, or the frequency in which you have (or don’t have) it. In this endeavor, originality would be appreciated because I’m getting bored of the cliched prude/slut/whore-shaming.

10. Stop apologizing for: femininity.
Why do I need to apologize for being a woman? So I like the color pink, I think frilly, lacy things are pretty and I cry during chick flicks. Also, I’ve consumed more brownies in one sitting than you (and JLo) have in a lifetime. Guess what? I can also chug beer faster than you, MensHumor tweets are the best, and my favorite iPhone app is SportsCenter.

I would say sorry I’m not sorry, but, technically that qualifies as an apology.

Share This Post:
  • Laura Bennett

    Another great one :)

  • Julia Sonenshein

    Yes. So much yes to all of this.

  • Kaitlin Reilly

    I love this list SO much. I’m also a huge over-apologizer (so many women are, I’ve noticed! It’s not good!) But I basically live on kale smoothies and cookies and I refuse to apologize for doing either on any given day. Best of both worlds.

  • Emily

    Great list. I especially love #10 :-)

  • Crayzcheshire

    I think it’s really self-empowering when one stops apologizing for non-reasons. I picture powerful women I admire: ‘would ___ say sorry for this thing?’ the answer is always no.

  • Joanna Rafael

    I LOVE THIS.

  • Thren3019

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    • Mike

      Could you please ask your neighbor’s mother why she won’t return my calls?

  • Peggy

    Thank you so much for this, for so many reasons. This has been a HUGE topic of discussion in my life recently, and the timing here is just perfect. Thank you again.

    • Lindsey Conklin

      I’m so glad :)

  • Christmastiger

    It should be included in the “femininity” section not to apologize for being a feminist or caring about women’s issues. Feminist is practically considered a curse word nowadays anywhere on the internet because of some narrow-minded stereotype, but it doesn’t mean favoring women over men but equality for both genders.
    I think most if not all women would consider themselves feminists if they weren’t so ashamed of being called one.

  • cmac324

    I agree with most of these but I do think super thin celebrities are dangerous role models for girls and women. They don’t need to apologize but I wish they would be honest about the unhealthy ways they are getting and staying extremely thin. Some famous woman needs to resist the pressure put on them and be a role model. There are industries that depend on the low self-esteem of women who will spend millions on unrealistic expectations promoted by these celebrities. I know there are healthy and beautiful women between a size 0 and a size 24. For example, the fashion industry calls size 8 Plus Size!