Women are apologizers; we apologize all day for being who we are. Most of us don’t even realize when we’re doing it, and we need to stop. The USA Women’s Soccer Team recently came under attack for celebrating their wins and abilities in a way that male athletes do all the time. These women are the best soccer players in the world, and were admonished by talk show hosts, “fans” and the like for relishing in their accomplishments. They didn’t apologize for celebrating themselves, and neither should you. Girl, stop apologizing.
Issa Rae (creator of the viral webseries Awkward Black Girl, subsequent book and hit HBO show Insecure) won the Emerging Entrepreneur Award at the Women in Film 2019 Annual Gala. During her acceptance she gave one of the most hilarious and self-love filled speeches that also wet viral. At this point Issa should just change her last name to Viral, because everything she does goes platinum…no diamond!
While giving her speech Issa stated, “Sometimes I feel as women we tend to downplay ourselves and dim our light, and we’re kinda conditioned socially to be humble. I’m a huge hip-hop fan and none of the artists I listen to are humble.” Of course there is much more to the speech, and I highly suggest you watch it on YouTube because its pure comedy, but the opening lines are what really stand out.
As women we are taught to downplay our looks, intelligence, accomplishments, wins and successes by society in general. When a beautiful woman speaks her mind on politics especially, she is told to shut up and look pretty because there is no way she can actually be smart too. Check Chrissy Teigen’s Twitter timeline for examples of this bullshit.
Recently, Serena Williams (greatest tennis player & athlete of all time) was informed during a press conference that Billie Jean King, (former tennis player and openly gay advocate) stated that Serena should,”Stop being a celebrity for a year and stop fighting for equality.” Serena’s poignant and unapologetic response, “Well, the day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me, will be the day I’m in my grave.”
One of my favorite videos this year is of Megan Rapinoe holding up her trophy and saying, “I deserve this!” happily to the camera. We deserve to celebrate our wins openly and without apology. Whatever that win is for you, enjoy it and revel in it. On set, while working together with a new actor, during our conversation of getting to know one another he listed his accomplishments. I immediately began praising him for them. When he asked about mine I told him I’d written and produced a webseries, but it wan’t a big deal. He looked me in the eyes and said, “You wrote 20 episodes, starred in them and produced them yourself. That is a big deal. You are doing something.” That stuck with me.
The next time you hear yourself downplaying your accomplishments or telling your daughter its more important that she be smart instead of pretty-why can’t she take joy in being both-or apologizing for your successes, STOP. Wear your confidence with pride and celebrate all that you have done, are doing, and will do because dammit you deserve to. If for some reason you’re struggling with that, play ‘All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled, sing the chorus to yourself, and stop apologizing.
How have you learned to stop apologizing & celebrate yourself? Sound off in the comment section below!
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