‘No Apologies Needed’ is not quite the title I wanted to use for this blog post. If I had my way, it would be something much bossier such as: Stop apologising for how you look! But even though I frequently wear the bossy pants, I could see how that could come across as rude and somewhat didactic, so I toned it down a bit.
Despite that, I still really want to shout: STOP APOLOGISING FOR HOW YOU LOOK!! (We will use no more than two exclamation marks as we obey the Terry Pratchett Rule of Excessive Exclamation Mark Use on this blog.) I see it so often: I’ll be innocently reading a blog post and the author will share a photo, apologising in advance for a lack of make-up or for their hair not being perfectly blow-waved or for having one sock slightly higher than the other or something. And it makes me sad.
So let me say it right now: You look fine. In fact, you look more than fine. You look wonderful just as you are. You don’t need to have your face covered in make-up and you don’t need to have spent an hour straightening or curling your hair before you’re allowed to take a photo and share it on the internet. I never bother and here’s the proof:
Yes, that’s right: I am living the un-made-up, un-styled hair, photo-on-the-internet dream.
But perhaps I’m not being fair, because I never wear make-up and my hair is either up or down, depending on whether it’s annoying me or not. So this is how I generally appear on the internet and I don’t tend to apologise for it, because it’s how I appear in the real world as well.
Even in the real world there’s a lot of pressure to look ‘perfect’ whenever you step out of your front door and it’s entirely unfair because this is all based on an industry where anyone featured within the pages of a magazine has spent hours having a team of people do their make-up and hair and subsequently had someone fix all the things that were terribly wrong with them in post production.
It’s a fantasy but unlike the CGI and special effects we see on TV or in movies, we’re encouraged to believe that these special effects are real and are something to which we should aspire. It’s all made to look so natural – that’s the problem. This woman has three kids and a full-time job but her hair is still impeccably styled and her make-up is flawless and ‘natural’ (a description that drives me to rants of fury when applied to the very unnatural art of coating your skin in chemicals)… so why can’t you do it, too?
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to. If you normally wear make-up and you post a photo without it, I won’t bat an eyelid. If you’re accidentally wearing your house socks in a photo of your new dress, I’ll just think you’re like me. If you think there’s an imperfection somewhere in your photo, I can guarantee you I won’t even notice it.
You don’t need to apologise for anything at all.
The best thing about the world of blogging is that it’s full of real people doing real things and writing about in a real way. It’s the perfect place to meet like-minded people who will also drive three hours just to spend some time rummaging about an amazing op shop. Or people who like to dress in old-fashioned clothes. Or people who sew their own clothes and write helpful pattern reviews. When I read a blog post, I’m just interested in a good old catch-up with a virtual acquaintance; I’m not expecting the internet equivalent of tea in the good china and crusts cut off the sandwiches.
There’s definitely a time for apologies but I think they’re better saved for when you accidentally step on someone’s foot, not because you’re just looking like yourself.