An apology is a remorseful admission that you’ve done something wrong. Apologizing is typically seen as a good thing, like when you’re short with your partner after a bad day or you missed a deadline at work.
But I see and hear a lot of women apologizing for how they look. For not wearing makeup. For wearing yoga pants and a hoodie. For not styling their hair. Normal human things.
I totally used to do this. I mostly apologized for not wearing makeup. I come from a line of everyday makeup wearers on my mom’s side and grew up learning that wearing makeup was a daily necessity, especially if you were going to venture out of the house. I felt like I needed to apologize for not wearing makeup to a meeting or gathering the same way I would apologize if I were late or forgot to bring an important piece of paperwork or a party gift.
Then I started thinking about it differently. Not wearing makeup, not being dressed up and not doing my hair isn’t WRONG. And it’s usually not even offensive to anyone unless I showed up to a business meeting in pajamas. And nearly everyone is more concerned with how they look than how you look. I have changed how I think about apologizing when I haven’t done anything wrong, and I try to catch myself as much as possible.
More things to stop apologizing for
Taking care of yourself
Almost the opposite of apologizing for our appearance, I often hear women apologizing for taking time for themselves. A lot of us spend so much time providing things for others, especially spouses and kids, that doing something for ourselves is a foreign concept. We feel selfish and guilty for going to the gym when our families are home or taking a nap when the floor is dirty. We forget that self-care is just as important as taking care of others. We forget it prevents burnout, helps us perform better and reduces negative effects of stress. Self-care isn’t wrong or offensive! You don’t need to apologize for it!
Asking for help
I know it seems like we’re inconveniencing people when we ask for help with chores or kids or work, but if most people are anything like me, they usually don’t mind helping. Needing help doesn’t mean you’re weak or incapable. It means you have the presence of mind to know when you could benefit from an extra pair of hands. Once again, asking for help isn’t wrong.
Do you apologize for how you look? Why or why not?
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