Kristen Bell Champions for Women Empowerment During 2020 Critics' Choice Awards Speech

At the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards, Kristen Bell took home the award for her role in advancing the representation of women in the entertainment industry.

By Pamela Avila Jan 13, 2020 3:06 AMTags
Kristen Bell, 2020 Critics Choice Awards, Red Carpet FashionMatt Baron/Shutterstock

"Kristen Bell has lent her voice to more than just her Frozen character, she has become a voice for the people who feel voiceless," said Ted Danson as he introduced the 39-year-old actress up to the stage to accept the #SeeHer Award at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards. 

Taking the stage to accept the coveted award, Bell began by thanking the Critics' Choice Awards for honoring her with this award. 

"This is the fourth year that the #SeeHer has been given out and the other three were human goddess Viola Davis, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and the Queen (Claire Foy). And I guess, now me, the girl who cried at the sloth. So this has clearly been a huge mistake, but I will stand up here and hold this until someone tells me this belongs to Moonlight," Bell joked. 

She continued by meditating over a question that she's routinely asked, "What does it mean to be a woman today?" 

To which she said, "I respond always by asking them to repeat the question so I can buy more time because it is a really, really hard question. My immediate reaction is to always respond with words like strong, brave and powerful but if I'm being honest, to me being a woman is not about being brave, or being strong, or being powerful, it's not about being anything specific."

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She continued, "It is just about giving yourself permission to be the things that you already are, which seems very easy but it is not because women have been conditioned to fit into boxes; usually tiny, pretty, sparkly boxes with bows on them, generally. So to me, the idea of womanhood is someone who sheds the perfect little box and owns their complexity." 

The #SeeHer Award recognizes women in the industry who push the boundaries on changing stereotypes and acknowledge the importance of representation and authentic portrayal of all types of women across the entertainment landscape. 


Bell continued to express that she felt "really lucky to be able to play some really complex women." 

The actor and activist, who became the first global advocate for the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund last year and has also advocated for Immigrant Families Together, cited all the strong female roles she has had the pleasure of portraying throughout her acting career. 

"Veronica Mars who was sassy and strong but also soft and sad, Eleanor Shellstrop who's tough and independent but who was also capable of love and community, Princess Anna who's most likely the most un-princessy princess that has ever been animated and Sarah Marshall, who let's be honest, was kind of an a-hole. But to me, she was a really likeable a-hole," Bell added. "What I've learned from all that is that nobody is just one thing. We are all all the things. So thank you for this. For the reminder to see [her] and see myself in total, the brave parts and the cowardly parts and even the parts that cry at sloths." 

"Although more strides in recent years have accurately portrayed women and girls in the media, the average age, race and body type of women depicted in media today still represents only a small fraction of the female population. This must change," said The Good Place star Danson when introducing Bell to the stage. "The See Her Award at Critics' Choice goes to an actress that through her work and her life is helping bring out that change, through her many roles, but especially those as Veronica Mars, Anna in Frozen and Eleanor in The Good Place. Kristen Bell embodies characters who have a strong moral core, compassion, independence, support for the underdog and fearless optimism."