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VMAs 2017: Pink gives inspiring speech about embracing androgyny after hearing her daughter call herself ugly

'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'

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 28 August 2017 11:22

The VMAs' (justly) political platform came in all forms: from outright denouncements of racism, calls to arms, to a general celebration of diversity.

Pink's speech, however, focused on a beautiful and inspiring story from her own life; picking up the award for Video Vanguard, she dedicated it to her six-year-old daughter Willow and spoke of her own fight to teach her daughter the lesson of self-acceptance.

She revealed her shock when Willow told her that she thought of herself as the ugliest girl she knew, all because she looked like "a boy with long hair".

Pink's response was to immediately get creative: she made her daughter a Powerpoint presentation, filled with images of musical icons famous for their androgyny, from Prince to David Bowie, from Annie Lennox to Janis Joplin.

"Artists that live their truth," she added. "Are probably made fun of every day of their lives, and carry on, and wave their flag, and inspire the rest of us."

VMAs 2017: Heather Heyer's mother and descendant of Robert E. Lee make statements against racism

She then explained to her daughter that she was always made fun of for looking like a boy, being too masculine, acting too strong, or having too many opinions. Pink then asked her daughter: "'When people make fun of me . . . 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.'"

"So, baby, girl," she stated. "We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl." She celebrated the importance of showing the world "more kinds of beauty", before thanking those in music who continue to proudly display their true selves.

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