Halle Berry's Most Inspirational Quotes on Life, Family & Her Impressive Career

By Jake Thompson Nov 22, 2021 2:00 PMTags
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Watch: Halle Berry to Receive 2021 People's Icon Award: A No-Brainer!

She's a superhero on and off screen!

Halle Berry made history as the first woman of color to win Best Actress at the Oscars in 2002. And this year, the X-Men superstar is being honored with the People's Icon Award at the 2021 People's Choice Awards for her groundbreaking and long-running career.

Year after year, the Swordfish actress and mother of two brought iconic characters to the screen, imparting empathy and dimension to her powerhouse performances. But her real-life journey from balancing work and motherhood to staying true to herself in a tough-as-nails industry has equally captivated fans of the woman behind the Catwoman mask.

Scroll through the photo gallery below for inspiring life lessons and motivational quotes spoken by the 2021 People's Icon herself, from her thoughts on her style evolution and career to love, family, parenting and beyond, Berry has proved herself to be wise beyond her years.

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2021 People's Choice Award Nominees: Latin Artists

Don't miss Halle accept the People's Icon award at the 2021 People's Choice Awards on Tuesday, Dec. 7 on E! and NBC.

On Representation & Her Beauty Icons

"Well, I struggled to find women who reflected me when I was growing up. Being a woman of color, I can't say there were many around me," Halle explained in an interview with Marie Claire. "There was, of course, my mother. But she was a blue-eyed blonde. And while I looked up to her, I struggled to find images of women that looked like me. So I would have to say probably Dorothy Dandridge, Diahann Carroll and Diana Ross. They were my beauty icons, in my mind."

On Life Experience Over Vanity

"Being thought of as a beautiful woman has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Love has been difficult. Beauty is essentially meaningless and it is always transitory," Halle revealed at a London press conference in 2004.

On Motherhood

"I'm a much better mother at 46, or 41 when I had her [daughter Nahla], than if I were 21 or 25. I was just a little baby, just trying to figure it out, trying to figure out who I was," Halle shared on Wendy Williams.

"For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn't know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn't know existed," the Catwoman actress tweeted

On Proving Her Worth

"I was accused of stuffing the ballot box for my high school prom-queen election because they couldn't believe the only black girl in the school won," the Monster Ball actress shared with Harper's Bazaar.

On Her Signature Haircut

"I think that was because the directors and producers actually saw me. Before that, I had long hair like every other girl like me. When I got this haircut, I felt like my best self," the groundbreaking Oscar winner told InStyle.

On Her Style Evolution

"I think I've been just learning as I've been going along," Halle shared her style evolution with Yahoo! Life. "I've kind of been experimenting and figuring out what looks good on me, what works for me, what makes me feel like me, like my best self. Seeing pictures of myself and realizing what went right and what went wrong. You know, 'I'll do that again, I'll stick with that.'"

On Stardom & Protecting Her Time

"Sometimes the most important word you can learn is ‘No,'" Halle captioned an Instagram post in October 2019.

"I didn't disappear. I traded: nights out for knowledge seeking, parties for intimate gatherings, chasing money for chasing purpose, meaningless work for my passion, being busy for protecting time, soul extortion for soul searching, living for others for living my life," the X-Men actress wrote in another post.

On Her Kids

"When I happen to have free time, I am always thinking about what can I do with [Nahla and Maceo]...I want that quality time," Halle shared with People speaking about her children.

"My kids—I have had two in my 40s. I have managed to have two beautiful, healthy children, like that's the best I think I could ever do in life," the Monster's Ball superstar shared with The Toronto Sun.

On Her Haters

"I've learned that I can't care about what people say about me because caring is too stressful and too hurtful," the Swordfish actress shared with Yahoo! Life.

"It can start to matter and affect you when you think about being a brand. People want to know that they can trust you. But I'm happy to say none of the negative things that come from those people hiding behind their computers—I call them the haters—have permeated me through my career," Halle offered more personal insight with Yahoo! Life.

On Past Relationships

"It's just that you realize you are not meant to go the distance with everybody. We were meant to bring this amazing little person into the world. And I think that's why we came together," Halle told Vogue in Sept. 2010.

On Embracing Aging

"Embracing [aging] is realizing every stage you're at, and being OK with that," Halle told The L.A. Times. "When you feel good about how you look and the age you are, and you're not trying to be 10 years younger—if you look that way, great—but aging is about embracing who you are and the life that you've lived, and the knowledge and the wisdom that you've gained."

On Living Mindfully

"As a woman, when you embrace where you are in life, then I think the struggle isn't so hard. If you're 42 and still think you're an ingenue, then you've got a problem," Halle told Harper's Bazaar.

"We have to stop wanting to look like that decade before. We have to stop coveting that. Let it go and embrace it now and really be OK. It's easy to say, I guess, but that's the goal," the Oscar-winning performer shared with Yahoo! Life.

On Plastic Surgery

"When you see everybody around you doing it, you have those moments when you think, 'Do I need to do the same thing?'" Berry intimately shared with Yahoo! Beauty. "I just have kept reminding myself that beauty really is as beauty does, and it is not so much about my physical self. Aging is natural, and that's going to happen to all of us...I just want to always look like myself, even if that's an older version of myself." 

On Balancing Work & Family

"You don't ever balance it completely. It's a constant struggle of a little more time there, a little more time here, and feeling a little bit guilty all the time," Halle explained to People.

"I know that in order to be a good mother I have to be a happy, fulfilled, well-rounded person and my career is very much a part of that," the megastar revealed to Telegraph.

"We have to have them both and we have to keep trying to figure it out. And we get it wrong sometimes. And guess what, that is okay too," the Die Another Day actress shared with People.

On Staying Healthy & Managing Diabetes

"It's a lot harder than it used to be. As I get older, I am more conscious of what I eat," Berry revealed to The L.A. Times. "I have never worked out with a lot of weights unless I had to for a film role. I am diabetic, so exercising has always been a part of managing my disease and keeping my sugars under control."

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