How often, really, do you brag about yourself? Does the idea of pointing out your own accomplishments sound like something fun and fulfilling? Or are you totally uncomfortable with the thought of it? If you lean more towards the latter, Shonda Rhimes is out here trying to change your mind. As she made clear during Elle’s Women in Hollywood event on Monday night, she loves to brag about her accomplishments — and she wants you to do to start doing the same.
During the event, Rhimes received the Luminary Award. During her acceptance speech, the showrunner addressed women’s unwillingness to shine the spotlight on themselves.
“In a world in which women of all colors are constantly forced to battle with men for equity and inclusion, we [Rhimes and Ellen Pompeo, her Grey’s star] had the good fortune to work in an environment that we had nurtured and built with enough of our sweat and tears over enough years that we no longer needed to battle men to get to the top of a mountain,” Rhimes said. “We just built our own mountains and then we realized all we simply had to do was equalize and include one another.”
— Lebene Ayivor (@pinklebenade) October 16, 2018
She brought this up, she explained for two reasons. “One, I’m awesome. And I work with a ton of other equally awesome women. And women do not brag enough.”
Quite the opposite, in fact. When faced with a chance to acknowledge something great they’ve done, women often shrink.
“The other day I came to this conclusion that men brag and women hide. Even when they don’t deserve to brag, men brag, like Trump and Kavanaugh. When men do deserve to brag they are good at it. They do it so well. Men brag about everything. Even things that aren’t things,” Rhimes said.
The Shondaland mastermind pointed to Pompeo as an inspiration, referencing Pompeo’s no-holds-barred interview with The Hollywood Reporter in January. In the piece, Pompeo “told the world she was the highest paid woman in dramatic television” and “she deserved it.”
In a word, said Rhimes, Pompeo bragged. There was some pushback, but there shouldn’t have been.
Then Rhimes did a bit of well-deserved bragging of her own. “I am the highest paid showrunner in television,” she said after mustering up her nerve. “How’s that for girl power? … I am and we are awesome. Which is another way of saying we have power and we are powerful women. And when we say we have power we are really saying we deserve to have power.”
Rhimes underscored the importance of empowering each other, giving a shout-out to many of the important women in her own life — including “my nanny, who is basically the single most important working woman on the planet.”
Lady Gaga with Sarah Paulson, Keira Knightley, Anita Hill, Mia Farrow, Angela Bassett, Shonda Rhimes, Charlize Theron and Yara Shahidi at the ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration. pic.twitter.com/QmD8MtEbFA
— GagaImages.co (@gagaimages) October 16, 2018
It was on this note that Rhimes ended her immodest, amazing speech. “Come together, work together, brag together, be powerful together, and whenever we can we should be lifting other women up. Because lifting someone up is what lifts us. That is the point.”
Read Rhimes’ full speech here.