Pink is one of the most identifiable and revered music artists of the past two decades, but she’s never played the part of the typical popstar.
Instead, she has spent her career rebelling against the status quo, producing meaningful, emotive music, embracing androgyny and exhibiting to girls and women everywhere that our archetype for beauty is wrong. We connect with Pink because she has managed to remain her most authentic self in an industry often as shallow as a sheen.
Earlier in the week, Pink’s legacy to women, was extended very personally and directly to her eldest daughter, Willow.
Accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV VMAs, Pink took the opportunity to share an experience she’d had with Willow and send a powerful message to girls everywhere.
“Recently I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me, out of the blue, ‘Mama, I’m the ugliest girl I know. I look like a boy with long hair,'” Pink told the audience, while husband Carey Hart sat in the crowd with Willow.
“My brain went to, ‘Oh my God, you’re six. Where is this coming from? Who said this? Can I kick a six year old’s a**? But I didn’t say anything. Instead I went home and made a power point presentation for her, with androgynous rock stars and artists that live their truth.
“That are probably made fun of every day of their life and carry on and wave their flag and inspire the rest of us.”
“She said, ‘I look like a boy’. I said, ‘Well, what do you think I look like?’ She said, ‘You’re beautiful’. I said, ‘thanks – but when people make fun of me, it’s because they say I look like a boy or I’m too masculine or have too many opinions.’
“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.'”
Pink wrapped up her speech by sharing her final stirring remarks to her daughter that day, urging Willow not to be defined by anyone else, not to change, and to embrace the fluidity of human beauty.
“Baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel in the shell and make a pearl and help other people change so they can see more kinds of beauty.
“You, my darling girl, are beautiful and I love you.”