When actress, director, and humanitarian Sharon Stone appeared at the inaugural Women's Choice Award Show last night in Hollywood, she looked ever the glamorous legend. Fitting, given the honor Stone was there to accept: the Icon Award. The WCAs, an event dedicated to honoring and celebrating trailblazing women and girls, chose to pay tribute to the star for her lifetime achievement in film and passionate activism. And in what was inarguably a main highlight of the evening, Stone, upon accepting her award, chose to pay tribute to her mother, and CafeMom was there to applaud the moment.
In her rare and deeply personal acceptance speech, the mother of three revealed that her mom, Dorothy Stone, had worked as a maid at just 9 years old, following in the footsteps of three generations of women in her family. "She was given away to have a better life by being a maid in a local dentist's home," Stone shared of her mother. "I was the first girl in my family who got to go to college, but I didn't finish. We fell in a lot of complicated times in my family, and I left. I wanted to go to New York, I wanted to pursue my dreams."
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That's why she said that it meant so much to her to see Hillary Clinton, whose mother was a maid as a child as well, run for president. "What [Clinton] did meant so much to me, not just for me, but for my mother and my grandmother and my great-grandmother who had cleaned so many floors and scrubbed so many toilets and had been treated so sh**-ily along the way."
Stone went on to explain that her parents had only gotten through some of junior high school, but they both went back to school as adults. One of the most poignant moments, which undeniably caused chills throughout the ballroom, was when Stone shared, "My mom went back to school for her high school education, and she graduated with my graduating class."
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Having gone through everything that she did, Dorothy understandably encouraged Sharon to be more independent, taking pride in having taught her daughter to "stand on your own two goddamn feet."
And it's her mother's -- and her grandmother's and great-grandmother's -- hardships that Stone says young women need to bear in mind to this day. "I want you young ladies to think about that," the actress said to the mostly female audience. "I want you to think about all the women that came before you whose heads not only pounded on the glass ceiling, but whose teeth pounded on the dirt floor." So raw, so powerful.
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That theme of explaining her own roots and honoring her mother so perfectly illustrated where we've come from, as women, and how far we still have to go. Case in point: Stone went on to say, "I want you to think about how [the Women's Choice Award Show] would have been televised if it was about men."
Of course that's a dismaying thought, but just as Stone was clearly influenced, shaped, and driven by the highs and lows of her mother's past, so too can future generations of women, whom the actress so beautifully described as "the creative force of this life." As she is a mom herself, and a woman with an incredibly inspiring mother of her own, that's one thing Stone most definitely, innately knows.