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Salma Hayek Wants Girls to 'Have the Courage to Be Unique'

Photograph by Getty Images

Salma Hayek wants girls to know that it's OK to not fit in and embrace your differences from others.

The actress, producer, philanthropist and mom to 8-year-old Valentina was honored at Variety magazine's Power of Women luncheon last week for her Chime for Change campaign, co-founded with Beyoncé and Gucci, which supports organizations helping women and girls around the world. The campaign funnels donations to many causes ranging from education-related efforts to medical relief.

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Hayek, 49, has been involved in humanitarian work for many years, even before she was a celebrity — once even famously breastfeeding a stranger's baby in Sierra Leone in 2009.

"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," Hayek said to reporters at the event.

"The most important thing to say to the girls is to not try to be like the other girls. Not to try to fit in, but to try 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," said Hayek.

She addressed the lack of opportunity and equal pay for women around the world, and said that women appear to be redefining their roles in society.

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"I look for hope so that I can continue to fight," Hayek said. "And what gives me hope is that in a world that is coming apart, women are coming together."

In her speech at the luncheon, she shared that Chime for Change has benefitted more than 400,000 women, affecting 3 million families and communities in the last two years. According to the charity's website, it has funded more than 400 projects in 86 countries. The charity was founded in 2013.

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