My friend is getting ready for a date this weekend and she was telling me about some advice her cousin gave her: “Don’t apologize for being you.” I thought this was so simple yet probably the best advice you could give someone. Women are taught to apologize and make excuses for every little thing about themselves and their perceived imperfections. We apologize for gaining a few pounds, for stray hairs being out of place, for bags under our eyes from lack of sleep. I am sorry I am so offensive! We seem to scream to everyone around us. I have apologized for my face countless times. If I don’t have a full face of makeup on, I’m sorry you had to witness that.
It breaks my heart that we hold ourselves to such unattainable standards that we feel like when we fall short, we must ask for others’ forgiveness. We would never set such standards for our friends or even our partners yet we continuously set those bars for ourselves.
The apologizing has to stop.
I will no longer apologize for sleepy eyes with lashes that lack mascara or for my curves, like the hips that bore 2 children. I will not apologize for weight fluctuations or for indulging in food that I want to indulge in because apologizing for eating is downright madness.
I will remember that my value is within, always within. My external features are temporary and while they can certainly be fun to dress up or paint, I will not place them on a pedestal that can come crashing down at the slightest hint of negativity. I am worth more than that and I am capable of more as well. You are, too.
I am still a work in progress so it will always take some effort to maintain the body positivity attitude, especially after years of brainwashing. But I think my friend’s cousin has offered excellent advice that if we remember every day, our mindset can change and those negative thoughts will float right out the door.