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Why Pink's VMA's Speech Is a Message All Parents Should Hear

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Last night, Pink was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award at the 2017 VMA’s, and she used her speech to share a compelling story about her daughter.

“Recently, I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me, out of the blue, ‘Mama?’ I said, ‘Yes, baby?’ She said, ‘I’m 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’re 6. Why? Where is this coming from? Who said this? Can I kick a 6-year-old’s ass, like what?’”

Unfortunately, this is a conversation many parents face. It must be utterly heartbreaking to hear your daughter at 6-years-old, start being so self-conscious about her body, her looks and her self-worth. Which is why Pink’s response to her daughter was absolutely magical:

“…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, Mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, Mama.’ ‘OK! So, baby girl. 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.’”

This is the type of conversations we must have with our children. It is our responsibility to empower them and show them their beauty when they’re not capable of seeing it themselves. But, before we do this, we need to believe it first.


Pink’s message is powerful because she doesn’t resort to dismissing her daughter’s beliefs to, “Oh, honey, you’re beautiful just the way you are.” She uses her own example as an active model for her child. She transforms the reductionist value society has placed over the physical image, into an empowering value of our inner beauty and inner strength. More importantly, the stereotype that body image and self-worth only affect girls are long gone, and we must be ready to empower rather than silence.

Media, peer pressure and societal standards have all forced an unreal expectation of what we should all look like. It is our responsibility to challenge these expectations and actively redefine beauty within our new generations. We are forever grateful to Pink for redefining beauty standards and giving us all a lesson about what body positivity parenting looks like.

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Originally published: August 28, 2017
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