This isn’t a movie review in any way, but more of a think piece about two scenes from the movie, A Simple Favor. In short, the movie is a thriller full of twists and turns, centered around two tenacious and confident leading ladies, Blake Lively (Emily) and Anna Kendrick (Stephanie). Both characters are moms, though their daily lives are vastly different – Emily is a high-profile PR director in NYC, and Stephanie is a stay-at-home single mom and vlogger in Connecticut. I can’t stop thinking about two things that Emily tells Stephanie that hit home for me, especially as a woman who does these two things much too often.
- “You don’t need to do that. You don’t need to apologize. It’s a f***ed up female habit.” When the two first begin spending time together, Emily reprimands Stephanie for apologizing over small things, like swearing. As a woman, I find myself frequently apologizing for insignificant things I’m not authentically sorry for, nor things that sincerely warrant an apology. I unnecessarily apologize as a way to avoid coming off as too strong or confident, or possibly making others feel undermined by me. But why should I worry about that? As women, we’ve historically been taught to be agreeable, soft, and pleasing. There’s nothing wrong with having those characteristics, but it doesn’t mean we should shy away from speaking our minds, being afraid of defending our viewpoints (even if they are contradictory), or thinking we need to dismiss our own feelings for the sake of others. We shouldn’t apologize for who we are, nor should we apologize for minuscule things that don’t require a sincere apology, because when we do, we end up coming off as weaker and less confident. And if you ever find yourself in a situation where it may warrant saying “sorry” but you aren’t responsible or would do the same again, then try to find a way to excuse yourself without having to actually apologize.
- “Don’t minimize your efforts to make me feel better about myself.” Stephanie was playing with both her son and Emily’s son after school, chasing them around and actively interacting with them. When Emily came to pick up her son, she told Stephanie what a great mom she was for being so involved, unlike herself and her busy work schedule that kept her away from spending more time with her son. Stephanie began to say that wasn’t true, that she was just chasing them around for fun and that Emily was just as great of a mom. Emily interjected and said: “Don’t minimize your hard work as a mom to make me feel better about myself.” This really hit home for me. I find myself minimizing my work or efforts constantly when I am acknowledged for it, simply because I don’t want to undermine others, or because I just can’t accept a damn compliment. If you find yourself devaluing your hard work in the same way I do just to ease others, let’s learn to stop this habit and be proud of our work. There should be no reason to edit the value of our work or decrease our confidence.
If you weren’t interested in seeing A Simple Favor before, I’d recommend you watch it just to hear these two points said bluntly by Blake Lively’s character. They’re great reminders of how we should be proud as women, not only of our hard work, but also of who we are as individuals.
Born in Ukraine and raised in Chicago, Iryna takes pride in her Ukrainian roots. She loves writing, cooking (and eating) all kinds of food, pursuing new fitness trends, and exploring all things related to personal growth. She hopes this blog brings you value in one way or another and helps you to become a better version of you.