Pink’s VMAs Speech About Daughter Calling Herself Ugly Is Beautiful

Pink and Willow - MTV VMAs 2017
Photo by Getty

The MTV Video Music Awards sneak up on us every year and emerge out of the Bank Holiday weekend in a latex-clad haze of hip-thrusting and hubris.

You’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that Miley Cyrus kept grinding on middle-aged perverts to a minimum this year in order to channel a sort of millennial Dolly Parton. And that in place of Kanye’s “Ima let you finish…” shocker were some extraordinary speeches on social justice issues, politics and kindness.

One of our favourite speeches of the night, and one we feel will resonate with a great many young women, was Pink’s speech to her daughter, Willow, on beauty and self-worth as she accepted the Vanguard Award.

You can read it in full below, and watch it too:

“Recently I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me, out of the blue, ‘I’m the ugliest girl I know’. And I said, ‘Huh?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, I look like a boy with long hair.’

“I didn’t say anything, and instead I went home and I made a powerpoint presentation for her. And in that presentation were androgynous rock stars and artists that live their truth, are probably made fun of every day of their life, and carry on and wave their flag and inspire the rest of us… and these are artists like Michael Jackson… George Michael… Elton John… so many artists. Her eyes glazed over.

“But then I said: ‘What do you think I look like?’ And she said, ‘Well, you’re beautiful.’ And I said, ‘Well, thanks.’ But I said, ‘When people make fun of me, that’s what they use. They say that I look like a boy. My body is too strong. I said to her, ‘Do you see me growing my hair?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing my body?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, mama.’

‘Okay. So, baby girl. We don’t change. We take the gravel in the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people change so they can see more kinds of beauty.’

“To all the artists here: I’m so inspired by all of you, thank you for being your true selves. There’s so much rad shit happening right now in music.

“[Talking to Willow] And you, my darling girl, are beautiful. And I love you.”


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