Over the past 18 years of Pink‘s career, the brash singer has been known for breaking down boundaries and pushing limits throughout standard pop conventions. Whether on stage or off, she has proven to be passionate about using her platform to spread messages of positivity and acceptance, while simultaneously delivering killer performances and jaw-dropping vocals.
Below, check out five of Pink’s most empowering moments — starting off with her most recent empowering message from this year’s VMAs:
1. Her 2017 VMA Speech: ‘We Don’t Change…. We Help Other People to Change”
The MTV’s Video Music Awards’ Michael Jackson video vanguard award-winner accepted her award with a touching, heartfelt story on loving yourself just the way you are. Pink began by telling a story of her daughter, Willow, announcing in the car one day that she was “the ugliest girl [she] know[s].” While Pink was (understandably) shocked upon asking why her daughter felt this way, Willow revealed that it was because she “looked like a boy with long hair.”
In Mom of the year fashion, Pink responded by making a PowerPoint presentation for her daughter of famous androgynous rock stars, including Prince, Annie Lennox and Janis Joplin, among others. She ended by telling her daughter that she herself had been criticized for looking like a boy and being too masculine with too many opinions, but that we don’t change for the haters. “We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl,” she said, “and we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
2. She’s Not Just Some “Stupid Girl”
One of Pink’s earlier hits was “Stupid Girls,” a song lamenting the role women had been forced to play in music and society. With lyrics like, “What happened to the dream of a girl president?/ She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent” and “I’m so glad that I’ll never fit in/ That will never be me/ Outcasts and girls with ambition/ That’s what I wanna see,” Pink established her credibility as a pop star with a message. Although now both the song and video — which features Pink playing various “Stupid Girl” personas and mocking celebrities like Paris Hilton — have received criticism for its judgmental approach to feminism, it remains an important landmark of individuality and self-empowerment in music.
3. Breaking Down Gender Norms, One Proposal At A Time
Even in love, Pink defies stereotypes. Pink and husband Carey Hart have been married for 11 years now, separating in 2008 but reconciling by 2010. They now have two children, daughter Willow and son Jameson, and one of the best proposal stories of the decade: Hart, a motocross racer, was actually racing when Pink scrawled on a pit board, “Will U Marry Me? Serious!” He then veered off the track to accept, proving that modern love doesn’t have to be constrained by traditional gender norms.
4. Aerial Awe: Going Where No One Has Gone Before
Pink has gained a reputation as a captivating, highly energetic performer, a distinction she definitely solidified at the MTV’s 2009 Video Music Awards. The musician spent most of the performance suspended in the air, at points singing while upside down, nailing acrobatic feats and spins without missing a single note. Here, she made the most of the VMAs spotlight to deliver an impressive spectacle of what true pop artistry can look like, so long as you’re not afraid of pushing the boundaries (or of heights, for that matter).
5. Keeping it Real in Motherhood
Pink has never been shy or ashamed about the realities of motherhood. This includes post-pregnancy weight: The “What About Us” singer most recently shared a photograph of her body, saying “I know I’m not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2 but dammit I don’t feel obese. The only thing I’m feeling is myself. Stay off that scale ladies!”
The message feels particularly refreshing given the intense scrutiny having a baby can ignite for high-profile mothers, with gossip magazines galore commenting negatively on “baby weight.” With humor and honesty, Pink again pushed the limits of what’s “acceptable” to talk about and look like.
Would you believe I’m 160 pounds and 5’3″? By ‘regular standards’ that makes me obese. I know I’m not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2 but dammit I don’t feel obese. The only thing I’m feeling is myself. Stay off that scale ladies! #feelingmyself #strongismygoal #bodygoals @msjeanettejenkins #happysaturday #getitin #GIJaneismyWCW