Erika Ray Photography » blog

Quit Apologizing Already. I’m Over It.

I believe men and women are different and I believe that makes me a feminist.  Believing that women should act the same as men is ridic.  We’re different.  I do things way better than my husband because my genes make it so.  And so does he.  Because we’re different doesn’t make women lesser and men better, it simply makes us different.  But here’s one thing I wish women would learn from men.

It seems that men don’t apologize as much as women do.  And I wish we’d knock it off.

Women have gotten crafty about it.  A bit passive aggressive even.  We’ve gotten demure and modest about our successes and our triumphs.  We add a positive word in front of a negative word to make it easier to accept our Goodness.  Instead of just owning our Goodness, we put ourselves down with that one negative word.   And I’m fucking over it.

Recently, I found a FB photography group that celebrates Flaws.  I’m all for celebrating things outside the norm.  But because FLAWED is in the title along with a positive word, that’s where my irritation bubbles.  An apology for not being Perfect.  Why do we need to celebrate “Flaws” in artwork?  Why add the word FLAW?  Let’s be very clear, NONE of these photos are flawed.  They are all technically gorgeous and everyone knows it.  I know a few of these photographers and they are fantastic every single time.  I believe that you should never say a photo worth sharing is flawed.  I’ll show you flawed.  I’ll show you arms cropped off and kids’ eyes that look high as fuck.  But I won’t.  Because actual FLAWED photos are shitty and make me look bad.  That’s what the “delete” button is for: to delete FLAWS.  I don’t blame the person who started the group.  I get the sentiment behind it.   Some of the sharing?  For some, deep down it’s probably for validation , but for most it comes with being a woman.  We apologize.  Trust me, I get why groups like this are started.  But I wish we could just stop and simply say, “Look at these fantastic photos.”  But most women aren’t comfortable with that outright statement.  It’s easier to put ourselves down just a bit.  We’ve been doing it forever.

Marketers and bloggers are always making a big deal about making us love our imperfections.  It’s good in theory and fashionable.  And plays to some weird gender fucked-up-ness.  I love my imperfectly perfect legs.  FUCK YOU.  Who says they’re imperfect?  Who?  Your mom when you were 6?  An asshole college boyfriend?  Photoshop proves no one is perfect.  Don’t love your leg despite their wobbliness.  Love them because they carry you through life.  Don’t add the negative qualifier.  That apology is because the media “tells” you your legs aren’t magazine worthy.  And you’re comfortable with loving them as long as you add a negative word.  Telling us we’re good enough despite our flaws?  FUCK YOU.  My “flaws” are me.  I don’t have flaws.  Popeye said it best, “I am what I am.”  And you?  You don’t get to make me love my so-called flaws or imperfections or quirks.  Pointing them out as “perfectly imperfect” and making me “accept” them is awful.

It seems little, but it isn’t.  It’s a tiny pebble that cracks an entire shell.  I’m done.  Aren’t you?  You don’t need someone telling you what to accept.  Fuck it.  We’re grown ass women.  Can’t we stop  apologizing, “This is flawed, but fabulous.”  How about just say, “This is flat-out fabulous.”

We’re condition to not fully accept our fantastic-ness.  I don’t know why!  We’re just not good at accepting compliments.  If someone says, “I love your hair.”  Most women can’t just say, “Thanks!”  I’m guilty.  I’ve said, “Ohhh.  Really?  Thanks, but my bangs need cut.”  I swear it’s in our genes.  Or maybe it’s decades of people trying to make girls modest and lady-like.

Fuck that.  Lady-like gets you no where.  Ever see the guy on the beach wearing a tiny red Speedo?  His glorious beer belly hangs deep making his dick  disappear.  His back hair waves in the salt-water wind.  His sweet-ass sunglass make his swagger even better.  That strut makes you stare.  The confidence keeps your gaze.  Where’s his apology?  It doesn’t exist.  I want all women to have that swag.  In all aspects of life.

Quit accepting negative qualifiers in life.  Don’t buy into anything that says You are Perfectly Imperfect/Fantastically Flawed/Good Enough Despite…/etc.  Apologizing damages your self no matter how you string the words.

You are what you are.

Fucking brilliant.

Make life easier and accept it already.



  • Jill - Love you to the moon and back…and not just because Mom made me.January 29, 2014 – 4:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Rebecca zeller - Seriously, Erika. I think I love you. 😉January 29, 2014 – 4:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Dyamond - I am so glad I read this. I am also one of those women who apologize for “flaws”, and as a result I constantly seek out validation for just being from other people, instead of knowing that I am fucking brilliant.

    You are definitely amazing!January 31, 2014 – 6:33 amReplyCancel

  • Beckie - you are SO RIGHT. I heard something similar in a business seminar many years ago. The person said that one should never say “I’m sorry” in any type of non-personal situation, but rather say “I regret”. Sorry means I’m asking for forgiveness, Regret means “shit happened that I wish had not happened”. Even though it’s been years since I heard this, I find myself still struggling to keep those two words from slipping from my mouth all day long…
    :)January 31, 2014 – 2:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - The person behind that fb page was actually against what is taught as being “flaws” in photography. Saying the so called flaws are what make things beautiful and different. You might have seen that had you taken the time instead of just wanting to rant and attack.March 3, 2014 – 3:10 pmReplyCancel

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