At Sunday night’s Critics’ Choice Awards, Viola Davis was the recipient of the first-ever #SeeHer award. The award, presented by the Association of National Advertisers in conjunction with A&E, honored Davis for her work furthering the movement’s efforts to accurately portray women and girls in the media.
An emotional Davis, took the stage to a standing ovation as she as she accepted the award.
“It’s hard to accept being a role model for women when you’re trying to lose weight.”
“I’ve always discovered the heart of my characters by asking: ‘Why?’ ” she continued. “When I was handed Annalise Keating [of HTGAWM] I said: ‘She’s sexy, she’s mysterious … I’m used to playing women that [I] have to gain 40 lbs. [for] and wear an apron.”
“So I said: ‘Oh, I’ve got to lose weight, I’ve got to learn how to walk like Kerry Washington in heels,’ …” she went on. “And then I asked myself: ‘Well, why do I have to do all of that?’ ”
“I truly believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are and I just recently embraced that at 51,” she said.
“At 10 p.m. every Thursday night I want you to come into my world,” she said. “I’m not going to come into yours. You can come into mine. My size, my hue, my age and you sit. And you experience. And I think that’s the only power I have as an artist. So I thank you for this award and I do see her, just like I see me.”