After walking up to the stage high-fiving kids and getting a huge hug from Zahara and Shiloh John, Angelina Jolie doesn’t look like a woman who just had major surgery.
What she does look like is the coolest mom, wife, actress, philanthropist, activist and feminist on the planet. And we are not 100 percent certain she’s not.
It was just two weeks ago that she underwent drastic preventive surgery, having her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to try to avoid getting cancer. But you’d never know it.
When it was announced she’d won a Kids’ Choice Award for Best Villain for her role in and as Maleficent, she strolled up on stage and delivered the speech so many children (and adults) need so desperately to hear: It’s OK to be different. In fact, different is good.
She said, “I want to say that when I was little, like Maleficent, I was told I was different. And I felt out of place — too loud, too full of fire, never good at sitting still, never good at fitting in. And then one day I realized something — something that I hope you all realize. Different is good. So don’t fit in, don’t sit still, don’t ever try to be less than what you are, and when someone tells you that you are different, smile and hold your head up and be proud. And as your villain, I will also say, cause a little trouble. It’s good for you.”
The Hollywood A-lister has given a lot of speeches about human rights and even about diversity, but hearing her tell kids not only is it OK to be different but that there is nothing wrong with you for those differences while urging them to embrace that diversity is simply inspiring. And she doesn’t just say these things, she lives them. Recently, her beautiful daughter decided she wanted to be called John, so without batting an eyelash, she and her family began calling Shiloh, John.
How could you not be moved when celebrities, who hold the world stage, use their fame to advocate and stand up for things that matter? Jolie’s speech is so much better because it is perfectly relatable to children. She speaks to them so they understand and can take what she is saying to heart. Let’s hope her words help some children who have thought their differences counted them out will know that those are the things that make them special.