"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."
Last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, Pink received the Video Vanguard Award, going down in history with the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, David Bowie, and The Beatles. But what really stole the show was the speech she gave about a recent conversation she had with her daughter on self-image. (Related: Kesha Shared an Important Message About Suicide Prevention as the VMAs)
After thanking Ellen Degeneres for presenting her with the award, Pink recalled the time her six-year-old daughter Willow said she thought she was the "ugliest girl" and looked "like a boy with long hair."
Naturally, Pink decided to go home and create a PowerPoint featuring androgynous rock stars like David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, and Prince, to help boost her daughter's self-esteem. She told her that these icons "are probably made fun of every day of their life, and carry on, wave their flag, and inspire the rest of us."
Of course, Pink also made it a point to include herself in that list, letting her daughter know that there have been plenty of times where people have judged her for looking too masculine. (Related: Why Pink Wants You to Stay Off the Scale)
"I said to her 'Do you see me growing my hair?' 'No, Mama.' I said, 'Do you see me changing my body?' 'No, Mama.' 'Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?' 'No, Mama.' 'Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?' 'Yes, Mama.' Okay! So, baby girl, we don't change," she said in her speech. "We take the gravel and the shell, and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty." (Related: Pink's New #NoFilter Breast Pumping Selfie Is as Real as It Gets)
The moral of the story is simple: No one should change who they are or the way they look to be accepted by anyone else. And thanks to icons like Pink who live their truth by expressing their unique selves, we're encouraged to embrace what makes us us and help others expand their definition of beauty.
Watch her entire speech below:
— MTV (@MTV) August 28, 2017