Let’s face it, accepting ourselves for every piece of what we are is quite the battle. Maybe you don’t like the way your hair falls, or maybe you think your lips aren’t plump enough, or that your walk with too much of a limp because of your prosthetic leg. Maybe you’re embarrassed by your voice because someone told you it’s too low for a girl, and gee, are anyone’s fingernails this crooked, and what you would do for the chance to have just one less freckle because Andrea next door has a perfect 34 freckle count and you’re stuck with 35. What a freak. Regardless of what you believe makes you an atrocious monster, P!nk shared some strong words in her VMAs speech that perhaps can inspire us all to accept who we are and live bravely.
On August 27th, after giving a spectacular performance, P!nk stepped up with nothing but smiles to receive the Video Vanguard Award. While expressing her gratitude to her fans, P!nk felt that there was more than just the award to show acceptance for. P!nk captured the audience with a heartfelt anecdote about her six-year-old daughter’s struggle to appreciate her personal beauty, and, just like her music, struck a hard note in all of us.
P!nk tells the audience that one morning while driving her daughter to school, she hears her daughter say, “I am the ugliest girl I know.” When she asked why, her daughter replied “I look like a boy with long hair.” P!nk found herself so bewildered by her own daughter’s self-hatred, that she quickly ran home and created a Powerpoint presentation to convince her otherwise. Overcome by her adoration, P!nk listed off beautiful and inspiring artists such as David Bowie, Janis Joplin, and Prince who wore their unique beauty with such integrity and grace that decades later, they are not only remembered for their unmatchable talent, but revered as icons for their magnificent androgyny. These artists, she explains, are successful and marvelous because they were who they were out loud, no matter what constraints of society tried to keep them quiet.
“We don’t change,” P!nk continued, “we take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl.” There is going to be a lot of ugliness to us; nobody is perfect. Radiating true beauty is to wear what people will tell us is “ugly” regardless. Wear whatever it is you have with such brightness that the world around you will have no choice but to accept you as you accept you. Be proud of everything you are, even the “ugliness” because maybe it’s the “ugliness” that gives us the strength to be beautiful.