Sorry, Not Sorry: 14 Things Women Should Never Apologize For

These days, the phrase “I’m sorry” is used more often than ever before. (Guilty as charged!) In an effort to combat society’s stereotypes of us and appear as non-threatening as possible we constantly apologize for things like our looks, our ambitions and our love lives. But ladies, enough is enough! Just like anyone else we have a right to own these things and live unapologetically. Therefore here are 14 things we should never apologize for.

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Having an Opinion

The “overly-emotional woman” stereotype doesn’t seem like it’s going away so just do you boo. Speak your mind respectfully and say what you’re feeling even if others don’t like it.

Not Wanting Children

Somewhere, somehow we got the rep of being baby-crazed, nurturers. Not always true. When it comes to kids, one size does not fit all and that’s perfectly fine. Never feel the need to justify your reasons for wanting to just be the “cool aunt” forever.

Being Ambitious

People will try to tell you that you can only achieve so much as a woman of color—don't listen to them. Barrel right through that and never say sorry about working your behind off.

Having Feelings

The world might think we’re cold and abrasive, but we get emotional too. And hey, it’s natural! Cry. Laugh. Smile. Yell. Whatever you’re feeling, let it show.

Your Quirky Hobbies

I like to sticker up my planner on the weekends. And?

Your Obsession with Male Celebs

So what if you spend your evenings fantasizing about Michael B. Jordan and Chris Pine. Doesn’t everyone?

Watching Reality TV Shows

Enjoy Real Housewives, Love and Hip Hop or The Bachelorette? Own it.

Saying 'No' To Going Out

It's understandable and essential to maintaining sanity—not selfish. You only have one life and the only person that is always going to be there is yourself. Always make sure that you are happy and okay.

Your Success

Chances are you've gotten at least one comment implying that you've only gotten what you have because of some sort of handout or “system.” But remember you've gotten to where you are because you worked hard and don't let people tell you otherwise.

Not Wearing Makeup

Unlike Beyoncé I have no desire to look Flawless all of the time.

Your Curves (or lack of curves!)

Every size is beautiful! And let’s be completely real, black women slay regardless of pants size.

Your Sub-Par Cooking Skills

Excuse me, but we don’t exist just to be Susie homemaker. If you can throw down in the kitchen snaps to you. If not don’t apologize for ordering takeout or only volunteering to bake the cornbread at Thanksgiving.

Splurging on Shoes

Or bags. Or jewelry. You see it. You want it. Work hard and grind 'til you own it.

Being You

Need I say more?

Ava DuVernay's Career Journey Is All The Inspiration You Need To Never Give Up

In 2015, I was a editorial assistant at Health magazine doing a happy dance in front of my computer when my purchase for Ava DuVernay's special (limited) edition Barbie doll went on sale. In less than fifteen minutes they had sold out and I was one of the lucky few who snagged one. 

That Ava Barbie now sits on the shelf above my bed and everyday I smile at it, inspired. I guess I should clarify that I'm not really inspired by the Barbie doll itself, but by who it represents: a phenomenal woman, filmmaker, artist, activist, writer and my very own sorority sister. Sorry. Had to throw that last part in there!

Her breakthrough 2014 film, Selma, earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director, the first for a female African-American auteur and ever since then Ava's been turning heads with her work, humble personality and inspiring story. 

As a child she wanted to be a lawyer, and then a journalist. In college she didn’t even study film; she studied African-American history at UCLA. It wasn’t until she became a publicist, where she was on movie sets with filmmakers that she realized she could be a filmmaker too. After 12 years she quit her day job and at the age of 32 directed her first short film. 

Yes, you read that correctly. She didn't really get going in film until she was 32 and yet, she has become one of the most influential directors of the 21st century. Like everybody loves Ava. Don't believe me? Just check Twitter. 

“Secretly. I started writing a script at night and on weekends, and eventually I shot my own short on a Christmas vacation. It was imperfect and crazy and nerve-racking and not good, but I did it and then just kept going,” she said in an interview. Thank God, she kept going because what would we do without her?!

Now, most of us are beating ourselves up day-in and day-out because our twenties aren't going anywhere according to plan. We feel behind. Unfulfilled. Lost in a sea of uncertainty and wondering if we'll ever find that spark. The myth is: once you’re 25, you’re way past your prime. That Oscar? Forget it and find a desk job. But, if there's anything we can take from Ava's journey it's the power of patience, and realizing that it's never too late to dream a new dream. 

“For me, it’s a question of the way we pursue our creative dreams. There is something in our culture that says your dream or the thing you’re pursuing has to happen immediately and all at once, and that is destructive to the creative spirit. I just embraced the idea that this was going to be a gradual exploration of the thing I was interested in—making films—and gave myself permission to go slowly. I didn’t beat myself up for the fact that I had a day job. I considered how I could strengthen myself through my day job so that one was feeding the other.” (Jezebel)

This is something I'm *admittedly* trying to get through my head right now. Starting over isn't always is, but sometimes it's what's right. Not for others, but for you. 

Creatives: quit dreaming and start doing by just taking that first step. How? Well, Ava says it best. It's to not wait for permission. 

"What do you want? If you want to be famous and have a big car and a fancy house, that’s a different thing. You have to ask permission for that. But if you want to make a film, say, and your reasons are truly for the experience of doing it and for the storytelling and the art of it, you don’t have to ask anyone," she said. 

Now can you see why every time I look at that Barbie I smile? She is literally EVERYTHING. And her films are worthy of nothing, but praise (which is usually what they all garner). Her Netflix documentary 13th just received 8 Emmy nominations — ranging from Outstanding Directing to Outstanding Writing.

Next up, is her adaption of A Wrinkle in Time hitting theaters in March 2018. As the first Black woman to direct a film with a budget of $100 million, which features an ethnically diverse cast (Oprah, Mindy Kaling AND Reese Witherspoon!), she cements her status as a legend, creating art that affirms and inspires us all. 

Check out the newly released teaser trailer for A Wrinkle in Time below. 

What 'The Bold Type' Gets Right About Working at a Magazine

In a world where many millennials can quote The Devil Wears Prada, cite Carrie Bradshaw as their spirit animal, and aspire to be a how-to girl like Andie Anderson from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days one thing is clear: magazines rule everything. And as someone who currently works at glossy, I can wholeheartedly agree.

That's why I was SO excited when I heard about The Bold Type. Officially premiering on Freeform tonight (!), though the pilot aired about a week ago, the show follows Jane, Kat and Sutton three best friends and magazine staffers navigating through the wonderful world of publishing working at Scarlet, a fictional Cosmopolitan-esque brand. But, while inspired by the life of former Cosmo Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, who serves as an executive producer, I must admit that I was initially skeptical. As an avid TV watcher it's no secret that real life is often sensationalized and the magazine world is a place I know all too well (i.e. I didn't want to see it get the "fictionalized treatment"). Luckily, the show was closer to reality than I could've imagined and here's how:

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Magazine editors aren’t all extra bitchy

Miranda Priestly set the bar pretty high for horrible bosses. And while 99.99% of assistants have had at least one annoying boss, it’s important to note that many aren't like that at all. Take Scarlet EIC Jacqueline (played by Melora Hardin). The show's writers could have easily made her act like a bitch to main character and newly promoted staff writer Jane (Katie Stevens). So often, when the boss of a certain company is a woman, she's made out to be mean and high demanding. But this was so much better! Jacqueline’s interactions with Jane were motivating and pushed her out of her comfort zone to help her succeed, really setting the tone for what's to come this season. And they reminded me so much of my first boss. Aww!

Social media plays a huge role in the stories told

Love it or hate it social media is here to stay. Just ask Kat (Aisha Dee), Scarlet's fearless Social Media Director. In the pilot we're given a taste of just how passionate Kat is about social media when she uses her millennial expertise to fight for a story, deliver one of the episodes best lines (Other editor: “Any problems with the words ‘vajayjay’?” Kat: “Uh, yeah. It’s not 2006.”) and to keep tabs on a character who I'm predicting will become her love interest. (No spoilers here! Go watch for yourself!)

Fashion Closets Can Be Good Hangout Spots

Every time I turned around, Jane, Kat and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) were chilling in the fashion closet whether it was trying on sunglasses, venting to each other, or celebrating with bubbly. And yes, that's what really goes down in there. You know besides work. My first magazine job was as a fitness assistant for a health mag. I can remember plenty of days when my editor and I sat around, chatted, and sung along to '90s R&B while we sorted sports bras. Good times. 

Sometimes Assistants do fetch coffee food

In the pilot Sutton, who's still an assistant, goes to fetch a green juice and lunch for her editor Lauren. All I could do is shake my head because I remember that day like it was yesterday. Luckily, I've only done it once, but I've done it nonetheless. Of course assistants wonder why the heck the editor can’t get their own damn salad from the cafeteria, but again: everyone has done it. It's kind of like a assistant right of passage and proving you can get a complicated order right means you'll be ready to handle a story in no time. 

Your personal life will be used for a story

Speaking of stories....Can I just say that this is actually my favorite part of the job? I chose magazine journalism over other traditional forms of the industry because I wanted to report facts with feelings (i.e. I wanted to be real and talk to real people!). Jane was subjected to reliving a terrible breakup to satisfy a assignment and shuddered at the challenge. Luckily after some support from Jacqueline she knocked it out of the park. While it’s a testament to personal strength to be so open (especially with how cruel people can be on social nowadays), in the end it’s super rewarding to see something that’s authentically you on the page (or online).

Other assistants will become your best friends

One of my other concerns when I first heard about this show was that it would have the female characters either competing with each other for work related stuff or over a guy. But I saw the complete opposite! Both Kat and Jane have gotten their dream job while Sutton is still working as an assistant, but she never lets that get in the way of her excitement for her friends. This is definitely true for real life assistants/staffers. Some over competitive bad apples are sprinkled in, but some of my closest friends have come from work. And they make all the long, crazy, stressful, bitchy-boss-filled days absolutely more than worth it. 

Overall, I loved The Bold Type and can't wait for what's to come.

Catch the official premiere tonight at 9/8C on Freeform!