Initially, I had drafted a post about Mr Kanye West, and you might have noticed I have made a bit of habit throughout my blog writing history, of dropping his name. A sort of media spectacle in some regards, I personally have come to find that his agenda is largely misunderstood. Hidden in the eccentric layers of his own ego, his actual message and I’m not afraid to say genius, sadly has gotten lost in the noise. So I sat down and pulled quotes from his recent interview with Charlamagne The God, to show that his thoughts actually had some kind of point to them. But then something else caught my attention, and it seemed carless as a woman to not write about it and not draw attention to this intelligent and powerful person. No, she doesn’t rap and she doesn’t make overpriced sought-after sneakers, but she’s incredibly intelligent and I admire so many things about this woman, including the persistence of her fearless spirit in an industry that has tried to keep it contained.
Today I’m going to talk about actress Salma Hayek Pinault, and use her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, as a guide to why we should focus more attention on her incredible message.It goes without saying, that her name is often preceded with the label ‘sexy’ and if you know what she looks like, then you know why that is. When I tried to find the essay she had written for the New York Times in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the first thing that came up was the headline ‘Salma Hayek flashes her bra in semi-sheer top ahead of the Met Gala’. Of course it was written by the Daily Mail, but it sort of illustrated my point that despite everything she has done as an activist for women, still the focus is on her sex symbol status. I can’t fathom how frustrating that would be as an artist, and despite a lot of you thinking being attractive is more of a blessing, as she says in the Super Soul Interview, it is a big misconception.
I strongly, strongly encourage you to watch the video, but I thought her quotes deserved a permanent place on the internet, which is why I have pulled some of my favourite and written them below. And yes, as is the case for many people throughout the world, English is her second language, so I’ve written the quotes exactly as she said eloquently said the
Womens rights as a calling
Salma has been an advocate for victims of domestic violence for over two decades. Putting and end to domestic violence she believes, is what will help stop this cycle of destruction and aggression that often leaves a family and extends further into society.
‘I thought one way to change the world was to change the mentality of what is and what is not ok inside a house’.
Salma was one of many women who fell victim to Harvey and his psychological abuse and manipulation. As he had paid for the rights to the movie ‘Frida’, a passion product of Salma’s, he continuously abused his power over her for 5 years, which she was powerless to stop because of her deep connection to the project. Despite her moving essay in the New York Times, the decision to speak publicly was not an easy one for her.
‘I think sometimes we underestimate our efforts..everybody’s efforts and the power that it has for change. The only reason that this is working right now, it’s not only because the women we spoke out, but it’s also because everybody listened. And I think that what happens is that we start making changes and we don’t see the results and we think change is not happening. Humans are slow to change right? and it’s the thing we fear the most. Because we wan’t to control the change, we want change as long as we know the result.
We have to be brave and excited about the unknown result of the change by putting the effort into the right little things we do every day and then we have to trust that if the little things you do everyday are morally correct. You might not see it but it will happen and you cannot give up on it because all of these efforts of every single one of you of everyone they pile up until there is an explosion.
An honest truth
This part of the interview resonated so strongly, because how often as human beings do we compare our suffering and pain to others, believing that we SHOULD not complain. Of course if we are going to throw out the ‘s’ word, there SHOULD be moments of gratitude for what we have, but it’s so important to never minimise your experiences or think that you’re problem are not problems.
When it came out then..I was ashamed that I didn’t speak up and then when so many women came out this is a strange sensation I felt that all the pain that I had that was so much at such important part, and by the way, he was not the first time. He was not the first time, that’s why I could handle him better and I’m just going to say this because it might help someone. I was very strong in front of him and i was smart how I sneaked my out. I handled it really well.
But now that I saw there was so many, and this is maybe the wrong feeling to have but I want to be honest, I felt like my pain was so small. Because there were so many that also had the same pain but for me it was so big, but when you see that everybody’s had the same you have that little moment when you say but what about how much I suffered? Everybody the same? That means I didn’t suffer special?! There is a moment and I think it’s human, and I was like well there’s no point for me to talk because it just happens to everyone you know.
By itself I felt it was my own little drama, but when we come together, put the drama aside and unite with each other..it’s not about drama, it’s not about pain it’s about evolution. It’s about becoming part of something that moves powerfully and the can make big change happen.
On being beautiful
Hard to imagine that this could be an issue for someone right? So often, I have wondered what it would be like to be THIS beautiful, completely oblivious to the fact that it has its own repercussions. The expectations, pressure and loss of control in some ways, is what I feel ridiculously good-looking women have to deal with. That may divide some, but isn’t the point of being empathetic humans that we seek to understand the layers in between the things that don’t seem so obvious?
I’ve had this problem since I was very little. When someone is attractive, people say oh she has it easy. The attractive woman is never the underdog because they’re attractive but we are really really good subjects for rape and violation and attack and sometimes attack from other women. I mean, I’m not complaining uh. But it comes with some issues too.
It’s full of contradictions because we are told you have to be the Virgin Mary but you have to do what I say when I say, okay? You have to be attractive but you cannot be too attractive because then you are telling me that I can do whatever I want with you. Gee, what the fuck do you want?Who the hell am I supposed to be?
I want you to be good looking for me but not good looking for the other ones. But don’t come out looking like that but don’t look too good,
It gives you power, but it comes with a price and then they expect you to look beautiful for the rest of your life. Which comes with some pressure!
But you know what it is? The point of how to handle it, I’m going to tell you when it comes when you say..screw you!!! I am going to discover who I am, not who you want me to be and I will maybe mingle in the things I am supposed to here and there, but I am going to be aware every second, where am I here? Ask yourself this question every day. When you’re lost in the stress and the chaos ask..wait, wait wait..where am I? We don’t even ask this question, we just try to survive the day.
Stay tuned for part 2…