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“Have the courage to be unique” Salma Hayek urges young girls to forget about fitting in

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As a successful Hollywood star, mum to an eight-year-old daughter, and the co-founder of a global campaign to give women and girls around the world a louder voice, Salma Hayek is in a unique position when it comes to doling out advice to younger generations.

The actress had some words of wisdom when speaking to reporters at Variety's Power of Women luncheon in Beverly Hills recently, where she was being honoured for her work with the Chime for Change charity.

“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.

“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.”

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Hayek was speaking at Variety's Power of Women event in Los Angeles

She continued: “I think the voice of women can change the world, but we don't know our voice. We've never really investigated. We've been too busy for many, many decades and generations trying to operate within systems that were designed by men.”

Chime for Change, which Hayek co-founded with Beyoncé Knowles, is a campaign that aims to give women and girls the world over a louder voice, raising funds for and increasing awareness of the issues affecting them via projects and special events.

In her acceptance speech at Variety's luncheon, in which she had a few choice words concerning Hollywood sexism too, Hayek, 49, said she had hope that “in a world that is coming apart, women are coming together.”

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Salma Hayek with daughter Valentina, pictured in July 2015

The Frida actress, mum to daughter Valentina with businessman François-Henri Pinault, used the opportunity to point out global gender inequalities, but also made it clear she had high hopes for the future. “Women represent 50 percent of the population of the world, but even with all of the lack of opportunities, education and all the limitations that come our way, we are 66 percent of the work power of the world. However, we only get 10 percent of the income of the world. 

“[But] I'm feeling very confident that we are the generation that is going to experience the difference, the transformation [...] they cannot ignore us anymore.”

Images: Rex Features

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