Salma Hayek recently spoke to The Guardian about feminism, womens rights and the amount of pressure it is to have the role of a woman.
Hayek didnt find immediate success when she arrived in Hollywood at age 25, even though she was already a big television star in Mexico. At first, she was dismissed for sounding like “a Mexican maid.”
I had studio heads say to me, You could have been the biggest star in America, but you were born in the wrong country. You can never be a leading lady, because we cant take the risk of you opening your mouth and people thinking of their maids,’” she told the news outlet.
Well she sure showed them. Now at age 48, Hayek is more radiant and successful than shes ever been.
She has five films scheduled for release in 2015 and she is widely known as a strong, empowering and independent woman.
Alfred Molina, who starred in the 2002 Frida Kahlo biopic alongside Hayek, said that if Salma were white and male, shed be bigger than Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein himself called her, admiringly, a ball-breaker.
But Hayeks grace and beauty extends beyond her acting career. She is a highly involved activist, constantly spreading awareness about the plight of third world women around the world.
On International Womens Day, Hayek presented her new film, an animation of Kahlil Gibrans “The Prophet,” as part of Southbank Centres Women of the World festival.
Hayek believes the message of the book is especially important to women, because it is about the courage to speak up, to believe you are worth being listened to, she says.
The classic book, which is written by an Arabic man, is not considered religious, but poetic and philosophical, uniting all religions. Though the literature piece never had publicity,” its read by generation after generation without ever really having fame.
Two years ago, Hayek co-founded Chime for Change, which hopes to bring awareness and improve aid of womens and childrens health and education worldwide.
Current projects include building schools for Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon, and fundraising support for a female inventor who has come up with a cheap-to-produce incubator for under-resourced maternity wards in the developing world, according to The Guardian.
I am a feminist because I love women and I am ready to fight for women. I am a feminist because I am proud to be a woman, and I am passionate about making the world a better place for women. I am a feminist because a lot of amazing women have made me the woman I am today. I am inspired by women every day, as friends and as colleagues.
Hayek has always felt the need to help those less fortunate and she believes others should devote their time to such a fruitful and rewarding endeavor, whether they are women or not.
But it should not be just because I am a woman… It should be a reflex, if someone else is being hurt, to help. It shouldnt have to be because you are being a victim too. I work a lot for domestic violence, and people often ask me if I have experienced it. And I say, no, on the contrary my father is a great man, my husband is a great man. But we are all human beings, no?
Hayeks words are strangely humanizing and profound. No wonder she manages to fundraise with such a passion and still maintain an elegance and sophistication worthy of fine royalty.
Yet she understands the constant pressure women are under in the modern world to fit this perfect mold of what it means to be a woman.
The amount of pressure on women now, its crazy. You have to be much better than your male colleagues, just so you can maybe try and get the same salary as them. And you still have to be a good wife and mother. And now you also have to be skinny, and you have to look 20 when youre 40. Its too much. We need to stop with the crazy expectations, give ourselves a break.
Hayek has shown us that age does not define beauty or success. She is more successful and happy than she ever was at a young age. And they said I wouldnt be working after 35! Ha.