Monday night, some of Hollywood’s most powerful women — and a few men — united in Los Angeles for Elle‘s annual Women in Hollywood Awards. The result? An electrifying mix of talented females who all want to close the gender pay gap in Hollywood and who are working to be inspiring role models for each other and for the next generation.
Here are 18 of the best, most inspirational quotes from Elle‘s Women in Hollywood Awards, which was made possible by Calvin Klein Collection, L’Oréal Paris and David Yurman.
1. Amy Schumer on one of the best pieces of advice she’s ever received
“To be happy and comfortable in my own skin instead of striving for some other version of myself.”
Perfect advice for young girls struggling with body image issues — and perfect advice from a powerful woman who refuses to conform to Hollywood’s unrealistic standards.
2. Schumer on what it means for women to be “worth it”
“Having the self-esteem and the confidence to attack the world.”
No better woman to talk about attacking the world than Schumer. Right now, it’s her world and we’re all just living in it.
3. Schumer on the most un-Hollywood thing she did before hitting the red carpet
She loves her body. She’s not ashamed of her body. Deal with it, people.
4. Salma Hayek on how people can help fight for equality for women in Hollywood
“The audience should run to see films that are made by women and that are about women.”
With movies like Bridesmaids and the upcoming Ghostbusters, we’re getting there. But we’ve still got a ways to go.
5. Ava DuVernay on a time in her career she had to fight for what she wanted
“Every day… The first step towards change is awareness. There’s a lot more now than there has been. It’s hardly enough and there’s more to do, but we can’t get complacent.”
It’s unbelievable that such a strong and talented woman has to fight for things in her career every day, but in a way, also inspiring, because she does and she’s making a huge difference in the industry — and in the world.
6. Alicia Vikander on one of the best pieces of advice that she’s gotten since her career has taken off
“To take a breath and enjoy.”
Not something we hear every day, but so important to remember, regardless of what’s going on. Moments, as we all know, are so fleeting.
7. Nina Dobrev on the gender pay gap in Hollywood
“There are steps in the right direction, but I always think we can do more.”
Yaaaasss. Like DuVernay said, let’s not get complacent.
8. Tony Goldwyn on if he thinks the scales are tipping when it comes to women in Hollywood
“I think the conversation is great, but it’s gotta be followed by action. We’re making progress, but we are far from there yet. What’s great is the decibel level of the conversation.”
Anyone else swoon a little from Goldwyn saying “we” when talking about women’s equality?
9. Carey Mulligan on the most un-Hollywood thing she did before the red carpet
“I’ve been put together with Spanx and makeup.”
It’s doubtful that Mulligan is “put together” that way, but gotta love her honesty.
10. Kate Winslet on women in Hollywood
“As long as women keep being strong and true to themselves, that’s all we can do.”
Because every women is strong — truly.
11. Judy Greer on leveling the paycheck issue
“Women need to create more. I know it’s not always up to us, but we need to create more content. People take you seriously when you get a good paycheck.”
Yes, they do. So, where’s that good paycheck for everyone, Hollywood?
12. Hayek on building her career
“How lucky I am because if adversity had not been in my shadow, if I didn’t have it so f***ing hard, I would have never learned how to put a script together — and let me tell you, that script was impossible.”
What an inspiring way to look at adversity. It’s always a learning experience.
13. Hayek on women’s roles in life and in Hollywood
“I will not accept a reality that is f***ed-up and unfair. [It’s important] to get angry and take adversity and transform it into your power. You make a change. I want to thank all the women in this room who have had the courage to stay on it and stick on it and have the dream to make the change — because I think because of this collective force of this generation, the change is happening now.”
Hayek makes such a good point about not accepting what isn’t right. Fight the good fight. Always.
14. Hayek on giving everyone a painting of a butterfly
“I wanted to do a butterfly to remind everyone because when adversity and trouble and chaos knocks on your door, and you feel like you are being diminished like a worm, do not worry. It only means that you’re just about to fly.”
Wow. Such powerful words for when you’re feeling down.
15. DuVernay on belonging
“I just want us to think about belonging. Think about who belongs, and welcoming people into that belonging. I feel like I belong tonight even though I’m the odd man out — odd man out only being that everyone else is a size 2. Maybe me and you, Amy!”
Love that DuVernay feels like she belongs — as she should.
16. Zoe Saldana on Salma Hayek
“With Salma, what you see is what you get, and what you see is strength, beauty and truth. She exudes confidence and presence. Salma comforts you, but she also challenges you. She will agree with you and disagree with you all in one conversation. But she will always make you feel safe and inspired. She’s on your team, and you can’t ask for a more extraordinary person to have on your side.”
Beautiful words of one woman supporting another.
17. Winslet on her role model
“My own personal Women of the Year is my 15-year-old daughter, Mia, who looks at herself in the mirror every day and tells me she’s happy being her.”
No mother could ever want more than that.
18. Joel McHale on women’s opportunities
“To all the women in Hollywood, I just need to say: It’s not that there aren’t opportunities, it’s just that Amy Schumer took them all.”
He may have a point!