I will not apologize

Something is happening with women. Something is shifting, changing, rising up within them. Women are looking a little longer at themselves and are liking what they see. They are recognizing a strength, a power, a life force deep within themselves and are using it to light a fire in their eyes. They are showing the world that they are women, they are beautiful, and they are valuable.

Well, the feminist fire within me is certainly lit, and I welcome the warmth.

From the Real Beauty Campaign, body positive photography, girl power songs from Alicia Keys and Katy Perry, the #yesallwomen movement, and most recently, the #ShineStrong Pantene commercial Not Sorry, women are getting the message: It’s time to stop bashing ourselves and others for what makes us women, to stop apologizing for our qualities and quirks, and to start loving ALL of ourselves. Basically, we are women hear us roar!

Here’s my roar:

I’m pretty sure I’ve been a feminist since before I knew that I lived in a man’s world. I was a girl who didn’t much care for gender stereotypes and how I was supposed to look, act, and talk (or not talk). However, as I grew up, I learned what being a woman in a man’s world meant, and I, as so many of us do, developed the apologies deeply rooted in shame simply for being born female.

Lately I’ve been wondering, how much of myself have I felt sorry and shame for? The answer is, too much. And I’m done apologizing for being a woman.

I will not apologize for wearing pink, blue, pants, skirts, or shirts that show too much or too little.

I will not apologize for wearing my hair long, short, up, down, straight, or curly.

I will not apologize for not putting makeup on my face to cover my flaws.

I will not apologize for the dark circles that appear under my eyes.

I will not apologize for my thin smile that decorates my eyes with little lines.

I will not apologize for having arm flab that waves back and thighs that rub.

I will not apologize for having hips and a butt that sway when I walk.

I will not apologize for having a swell in my belly and a bounce in my breasts.

I will not apologize for having rolls, dimples, or cellulite when I move my body.

I will not apologize for wearing clothes that show my figure.

I will not apologize for having skin that’s too white, too tan, or too something else.

I will not apologize for liking the way that I look.

I will not apologize for eating too much or too little.

I will not apologize for belching or farting.

I will not apologize for having hair under my arms or between my legs.

I will not apologize for being a sexual being.

I will not apologize for having sexual fantasies and sexual experiences.

I will not apologize for saying or writing the word sex, vulva, vagina, penis, or anything related to such words.

I will not apologize for sacrificing parts of my life to achieve my goals.

I will not apologize for being successful.

I will not apologize for being educated and intelligent.

I will not apologize for being too quiet or too loud.

I will not apologize for speaking my mind.

I will not apologize for having an opinion and sharing it.

I will not apologize for raising a hand and saying, “Let me finish” when you interrupt me.

I will not apologize for being honest.

I will not apologize for having thoughts, feelings, and needs.

I will not apologize for your reaction to my thoughts, feelings, and needs.

I will not apologize for being an emotional being.

I will not apologize for crying at home, at work, or in public.

I will not apologize for saying no.

I will not apologize for saying yes.

I will not apologize for having a career that fulfills me.

I will not apologize for not having children.

I will not apologize for being independent.

I will not apologize for needing someone to depend on now and then.

I will not apologize for having feminine and masculine traits.

I will not apologize for my power, my strength, and my worth.

I will not apologize for loving myself.

I will not apologize for not apologizing.

I will not apologize for being a woman.

I will not apologize.

I will not.

 

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