Pink accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night. Ellen Degeneres presented the musician with the award.
From the stage, Pink began by saying, “I know I don’t have a lot of time, but if I may, I want to tell you a quick story.”
Recently, I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me out of the blue, “Momma?” And I said, “Yes baby?” And 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?
And I didn’t say anything and instead I went home and I made a PowerPoint presentation for her. And in that presentation were androgynous rock stars and artists that live their truth. Who are probably made fun everyday of their life and carry on and wave their flag and inspire the rest of us. These are artists like Michael Jackson and David Bowie and Freddie Mercury and Annie Lenox and Prince and Janis Joplin and George Michael and Elton John. So many artists. Her eyes glazed over. I said, “I really want to know why you feel this way about yourself?” And she said, “I look like a boy.” And then I said, “What do I look like?” And she said, “Well, you’re beautiful.” And I said, “Well, thanks.”
But when people make fun of me thats what they use. That’s what they use — I look like a boy. That I’m too masculine. That my body is too strong. I have too many opinions. And I said to her, “Do you see me growing my hair? She said, “No, momma.” Do you see my changing my body? She said, “No, momma.” Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world? She said, “No, momma.” Do you see me selling out arenas all over the the world? She said, “Yes, momma.”
Wrapping up, Pink added, “OK, so you see baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel in the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty.”
Pink ended her speech by speaking right to her daughter in the audience: “And you, my darling girl, are beautiful, and I love you.”
Watch Pink’s VMAs speech right here:
— MTV (@MTV) August 28, 2017