Social media has made it easy for us to pass judgment and be critical of others and ourselves. It’s is even harder for our kids, who, at a young age, are already exposed to the prejudice on looks and even race.
That’s why when singer Pink accepted her Video Vanguard Award at the recently concluded 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, we raised our fist in praise and gratitude for sharing the story of a seemingly innocent conversation with her daughter, Willow. Her moving and inspiring speech has a beautiful message that we think every mom should share with their own daughters.
“I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me, out of the blue, ‘Mama? I’m the ugliest girl I know.’” Pink’s daughter then goes on to say that she thought this way because she looks like “a boy with long hair.”
Unsurprisingly, Pink’s protective instincts kicked in, but instead of replying, she went home and made a PowerPointpresentation for her daughter. She filled it with androgynous rock stars like Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, and Janis Joplin, all of whom were unafraid to show their true selves. They carried on even if they were made fun of by other people and continued to inspire the rest of the world.
Pink tells her daughter, “When people make fun of me, that’s what they use. They say I look like a boy or I’m too masculine or I have too many opinions, my body is too strong.”
Pink then asked Willow if she saw her mom growing her hair, changing her body, or presents herself differently, just to please other people. Pin related her daughter answer no to everything and drove this message home:
“So, baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
Just then, Pink looked at her daughter, who was in the audience with her dad, Carey Hart, and said, “You, my darling girl, are beautiful, and I love you.”
Watch the speech in full below:
If you have a child struggling with her self-image, encourage her to embrace her individuality -- we’re all beautiful.