Actress and producer Salma Hayek shared wise words for women and girls over the weekend in a speech she gave at the Variety Power of Women Luncheon in California.
“I think the most important thing to tell for the new generations is to have the courage to be unique, to be curious about who they are, instead of trying to blend in,” said Hayek.
Hayek was honored at the luncheon for her charitable work with Chime for Change, a nonprofit that seeks to provide education, health and justice programs for girls and women around the world.
Hayek said she has young girls like her daughter, 8-year-old Valentina, in mind when she imagines a world in which girls can learn that they don't need to be like everyone else, that they can strive to "really be profound thinkers that are excited about their differences and explore what they are and who they are and what can come out of the new.”
While she believes that women have a voice that can change the world, she also says women have been busy up until this point, trying to fit into the roles assigned to them by men.
“Women represent 50 percent of the population of the world, but even with all of the lack of opportunities, education and all the limitations that come our way, we are 66 percent of the work power of the world,” she said in her speech. “However, we only get 10 percent of the income of the world."
Hayek said she's excited about the changing role of women in the entertainment industry.
"We're not the women who just want to see a movie of how our prince is going to come and rescue everyone," she said. "We changed, but nobody took the time to change with us in the industry. So it's a really exciting time to really define who we are, and I think this is the true heart of equality: not only when we can make as much and we can speak as loud, but when we really have the freedom to be ourselves instead of trying to survive or fit in."
But Hayek also shared her hope for the future. “I’m feeling very confident that we are the generation that is going to experience the difference, the transformation … We are such an economical power, women, in the country, and we represent such a strong part of the audience that they cannot ignore us anymore.”