On Sunday, after an amazing performance of songs spanning her career, P!nk received the award for the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
After accepting the award from Ellen Degeneres, the music icon recounted a conversation she recently had with her 6-year-old daughter, Willow.
Read the full transcript of her speech below:
I know I don’t have a lot of time. If I may tell you a quick story. Recently, I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me, out of the blue, “Mama?” “Yes, baby?” She said, “I am the ugliest girl I know.” And I said, “Huh?” And she was like, “Yeah, I look like a boy with long hair.” And my brain went to, Oh my god, you are 6! Why? Where is this coming from? Who said this? Can I kick a 6-year-old’s ass? What? But I didn’t say anything. Instead, I went home and I made a power point 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 lives, and carry on, and wave their flag, and inspire the rest of us. These are artists like Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Annie Lennox, Prince, Janis Joplin, and George Michael, Elton John — so many artists.
It was, her eyes glazed over. But then I said, “You know, I really want to know why you feel this way about yourself.” She said, “I look like a boy.” I said, “What do you think I look like?” She said, “Well you are beautiful.” I was like, “Well, thanks.” But, I said, “When people make fun of me, it’s, that’s what they use. They say that I look like a boy, or I am too masculine, too many opinions, my body is too strong.” And I said to her, “Do you see me growing my hair?” She said, “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, ma.” “Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?” “Yes, mama.” “That’s right. So, baby, girl, we don’t change, we take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. We help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty.”
And to all of the artists here, I am so inspired by all of you. Thank you for being your true selves. And for lighting the way for us. I am so inspired by you guys. There is so much rad shit happening now in music, and keep doing it. Keep shining. For the rest of us to see. And you, my darling girl, are beautiful. And I love you. Thank you, MTV. This is a really special night. Thank you, Ellen [DeGeneres], I couldn’t love you more. Thank you, guys. Good night.”
This speech goes to show the importance of promotion of positive body-images. It does not matter who you are and in what form you come in; it is imperative that we give ourselves self-affirming messages.