Anna Ryabtsov


I am not sorry for being a woman. Period.

Contemporary women are not weak. Strength and independence are fully present every single day with every gaze, with every movement of their hips.  She may not be thinking about folding your laundry. She may not be thinking about having a hot meal for you ready by 5 pm. She may not be thinking about choosing the right lipstick color that you told her you liked. Instead, she may be thinking with every thought and stride what will make me feel alive today? What will make me happy?

I am not sorry for choosing myself.

This is my unapology for independence and perseverance.

No, you’re supposed to be lady, you can’t do that. No, you’re a girl, you shouldn’t lift that. No honey, that’s a man`s line of work, don’t you want to keep that pretty face?

Fuck that.

Words I have heard since I was young. My ambition is to continue to push through those stereotypes of what girls should and shouldn’t do. I am not sorry for not always being ladylike. I am not sorry for wanting to climb mountains and roll around in mud rather than paint my nails and do my hair. I am not sorry for cursing. I am not sorry for being pissed once a month. What the hell do you expect when the rise of hormones are surging through my body and my ovaries feel like they are about to spontaneously combust at the same time that I am working two jobs a day where I have to look like nothing is fucking wrong.

Women’s bodies are treated as a commodity and our internal values are overlooked. Whether it's from my family, work relations or school, there are always comments and thoughts that I can, in the moment, study, work hard and go to school, but in the end it won't matter since I will just have to raise kids, get married and a man will support me.

Once again, fuck that.


Those outcomes will only dilute future accomplishments. I am not sorry for not wanting the white picket fence or a house to put it around. I am not sorry for being 100000% pro-choice. I am not sorry for having an opinion and disagreeing with you. I am especially not sorry for not stroking your undeveloped male ego. I am not sorry to unaccept sitting around and looking pretty. I am also not sorry for wanting to punch you in the face for thinking I should just sit there and look pretty.

This is my unapology and reminder to all women of how much inner personal strength matters right now. We are in turbulent times in our human evolution and we must materialize that strength, spread it, and grow it. It is a vital backbone for change for us now and for future generations to come.

Let future women be born into a world where being “sorry” for their every move is not an option. A world that nourishes their vigor, encourages their potential and celebrates each woman's being. This is an unapology for the every day. An unapologetic ballad in moments of uncertainty and vulnerability.

My belief is that there is an inner core strength amplifying. It is being passed to every woman of all ages. It is not discriminative of race, size, age, or religion. It is slow moving but steadfast and unbreakable. Every woman has this potency and spirit within her. No matter what hardships this lifetime has decided to throw at you. No matter what type of physical body and country your soul was born into. You should never be fucking sorry for any of it.


About the photo:

My portrait was meant to portray my words as a message from any woman anywhere, every day. Photographed on the streets in Jersey City, I wanted the image to convey the simplicity of everyday situations.