At the VMAs show Sunday night, Pink picked up the Vanguard Award, which the LA Times explains is the MTV equivalent of a lifetime achievement award, before performing a medley of her hits. But it was her acceptance speech, in which she recounted a conversation with her 6-year-old daughter, Willow, that is resonating Monday morning. You can watch it here. Willow "said to me out of the blue, 'Mama, I'm the ugliest girl I know,'" recalled Pink. "And I said, 'Huh?' And she said, 'Yeah, I look like a boy with long hair.' And my brain went to, 'Oh my God, you're 6. Where is this coming from?" Pink said that when she got home, she showed her daughter images of "androgynous rock stars" such as Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Prince, and Annie Lennox.
And Pink told Willow that she, too, was criticized in the same way as her daughter. "I said, 'When people make fun of me, that's what they use: They say I look like a boy or I'm too masculine or I have too many opinions or that my body is too strong," Pink said. But she said she doesn't try to grow her hair out or change anything about herself to look more feminine to meet others' expectations. "Baby girl, we don't change," she said. "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. ...And you, my darling girl, are beautiful. I love you." The reaction online to what People calls an "inspiring speech about self-acceptance" has been pretty much universally positive.