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Pantene Launches Much-Needed #NotSorry Campaign

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Pantene is proving yet again that it's more than just your ticket to gorgeous, glossy hair.  The company has just launched a new video for their Shine Strong campaign that is focusing on the problem that pre-professional collegiettes know all too well: over-apologizing. 

You know exactly what I’m talking about.  You and I have both seen it written in magazine pages such as MC@work or in web articles à la Jezebel. It’s time to face the music, ladies.

Watching Pantene’s video made me cringe; it’s definitely a huge wake-up call. The women in it are apologizing constantly for no reason! I couldn't help but wonder; are we really that bad?

“Sorry, can I ask a stupid question?” “Sorry, do you have a minute?” “Sorry.” “Oh! Sorry.”

“Sorry.”

“Sorry.”

“Sorry.”

Get the message? I realized I was over-apologizing last year when I was driving in Atlanta with my friend.  Suddenly, a reckless driver cuts me off, and guess what popped out of my mouth? Yep. I just apologized. To who? To me, the other driver, my friend? Apologizing has sadly become second nature to women, but why?

In a 2010 study, researchers analyzed how many times 66 subjects apologized over a 12-day period. These were self-reported offenses, and the interesting thing is, it’s not that women necessarily apologize more then men; it seems that women just think they have more offenses to apologize for.  Perhaps gender inequality has trained us to think apologizing for everything makes us seem more likable and polite instead of (and I hate this label) bossy. Hence the "Ban Bossy" campaign.

In fact, Pantene already addressed the problem of labels against women in their first Shine Strong video last year.

Pantene’s empowering message also has another facet to it: according to their website’s fine print, “[The American Association of University Women] and Pantene will join forces in the 2014-2015 academic year on a new program designed to challenge women student leaders… to initiate change and tackle biases and stereotypes…” Also, the campaign added a new “Pantene Shine Strong Fund” that provides education and resources to help women overcome bias and stereotypes that are holding them back and to celebrate strong women around the world.

Come on, we can’t apologize for existing. Instead, I’m challenging you, my dear collegiettes (and myself),  to stop saying “sorry” for meaningless things. Next time a late student walks into lecture and awkwardly has to shuffle him or herself over your legs to get to a seat, don’t say sorry. It’s not your offense. Next time you ask a question, don’t say “Sorry, but could you…” Just ask. You are a strong, capable woman; don’t undermine yourself before you even begin to show the world what you’ve got. As Pantene says, #ShineStrong.

Tell us collegiettes – how will you tackle habits of over-apologizing? Sound off below!


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