Nicole Kidman On Why Women Should Stop Apologizing For Their Power

06/18/2015 01:58 pm ET

Nicole Kidman hasn't always been as confident as she appears to be today.

At 5 feet 11 inches, Kidman towers over many other celebrities, and it's been a constant struggle for her to work towards accepting -- and liking -- her height. Which is why, when she spoke at the Women in Film's Crystal + Lucy Awards dinner and urged women and girls to "stand tall and never ever apologize for it," she was talking both physically and emotionally.

She said:

nicole kidman

"I was afraid of my own power," Kidman said in her speech, "afraid that it would threaten people, intimidate people. And it's a great sadness wishing to be less than you actually are. And it's hard to take on the world when you're constantly in a battle with yourself. I worked through it...I’m working through it."

Kidman shared part of her own self-acceptance story by talking about how she declined a role in a Jane Campion film, "A Girl's Own Story," at 14 because she would have had to kiss a girl. "I wanted to be the kind of actress with long flowing hair [who] kissed boys," Kidman said. "I was not ready to do the kind of work that threatened anybody."

Over the years, Kidman gradually began to stop caring about what other people think. "Women are too susceptible to the voice that tells us we need to be accepted," Kidman explained. "Men say, 'I want this.' And then they set out to do it. Women say: 'Do I want this? Don't I want this? Do I deserve this? Can I get this? Hmm, what do you think?' And framing things this way leads women to second-guess our decisions, to ignore our own confidence, to revert to a place that we think is safe, acceptable."

In a spirit of kickass girl power, Kidman called upon the audience to support young women who, like she was, might be afraid of their own power.

nicole kidman

To that we can all say: Amen.

Nicole Kidman's Style Evolution
Suggest a correction