It happened again.
A client in my massage practice apologized to me for her body.
It’s always women. Men never apologize for their bodies.
Usually it’s about the state of their pedicure. Today was about “ugly” feet. Some have even apologized for the size of their butts.
I’m not evaluating them for a swimsuit shoot. We’re not dating. I’m not a fitness instructor. I’m their massage therapist and I’m there to help them feel better. So what is it?
I think it’s a sad and telling commentary on the pressure that our society places on women to look a certain way. Why apologize to me? Do they think they owe me something?
I think it’s this: it’s a vulnerable position to be in, going to a massage therapist and literally baring yourself to a stranger. (To be clear, I leave the room when a client disrobes and gets under the sheets. I don’t “see” anything terribly private. But still the fact of being naked under the sheets and blankets makes for great vulnerability.) In that moment of vulnerability, the insecurities come out. I think this moment happens for everyone, male and female alike. Everyone has insecurities. But some people (and again, in my experience it has always been women), when they feel bad, they apologize. The apology just pops right out of their mouth. They’re apologizing when no offense was taken. They’re apologizing when they did nothing wrong.
There’s a great piece of writing about this making the rounds. Have you seen it? http://jezebel.com/5867378/i-am-so-not-sorry-about-my-vagina-and-other-apologies-we-should-retract
This is something I’ve taken great notice of in myself lately. I can definitely be an over-apologizer. It’s one of the many ways we women give up our power, this apologizing for things that aren’t our faults or aren’t our problems. And that’s a sorry state indeed.
What about you? Are you an over-apologizer? Have you ever caught yourself apologizing and thought “Wait, why am I doing that?” The comment box awaits your thoughts.