“We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”

This was advice from the artist P!NK to her daughter as part of a Video Vanguard award acceptance speech at the 2017 VMAs.

P!NK shared the story of how her daughter Willow shared a puzzling statement on the way to school one day:

“I’m the ugliest girl I know. I look like a boy with long hair.”

P!NK was flummoxed. In her words,

“And my brain went to, ‘Oh my god, you’re six. Why? Where is this coming from? Who said this? Can I kick a 6-year-old’s ass?’…

But I didn’t say anything. Instead I went home and I made a Powerpoint presentation for her. And in that presentation were androgynous rockstars and artists that live their truth, are probably made fun of every day of their life, and carry on, wave their flag and inspire the rest of us.

And these are artists like Michael Jackson and David Bowie and Freddie Mercury and Annie Lennox and Prince and Janis Joplin and George Michael, Elton John, so many artists — her eyes glazed over. But then I said, ‘You know, I really want to know why you feel this way about yourself.’

And she said, ‘Well I look like a boy,’ and I said, ‘Well what do you think I look like?’ And she said, ‘Well you’re beautiful.’ And I was like, ‘Well, thanks. But when people make fun of me, that’s what they use. They say I look like a boy or I’m too masculine or I have too many opinions, my body is too strong.”

[And then P!NK dropped a truth bomb on Willow]

“Do you see me growing my hair?’ She said, ‘No, mama.’

I said, ‘Do you see me changing my body?’ ‘No, mama.’

‘Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘

Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, Mama.’

‘OK! So, baby girl. We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”

What a beautiful message for both life and business. Thank you Alecia Beth Moore. This is a consistent thread through her songs. Here is one of my favorite lyrics from her song, “F**kin’ Perfect”

“Please don’t you ever feel like you’re
less than, less than perfect.
If you ever feel like you’re nothing,
you are perfect to me.”

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Stan Phelps

Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at StanPhelps.com.