Taylor Swift Snags 2019 Teen Choice Icon Award, Uses Podium to Speak on Gender Pay Gap
Taylor Swift accepted the Icon Award at the 2019 Teen Choice Awards on Sunday (Aug. 11), and she used her time at the microphone to take a stand. Women's World Cup-winning soccer player Alex Morgan was there to present the pop-country starlet with the award, and after she sang Swift's praises, Swift returned the favor, pushing for fans to advocate for pay equality.
"The fact that she's here presenting this to me is such an honor. Not only winning the World Cup with her amazing teammates, but while they were winning the World Cup, they were also taking a historic stand in terms of gender equality, gender pay gap," Swift shared onstage. "Please, please, please support her and her teammates, because this isn't over yet — it's not resolved!"
According to the American Association of University Women, an organization that advocates for women in the workplace, women in the United States who work full-time earn about 80 cents for every dollar that a man who works full-time makes. The U.S. women's national soccer team, while on their way to winning the World Cup in July, became a face of the equal pay movement after filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation because they're being paid less than the U.S. men's national soccer team. The women's team has won four World Cup trophies since the tournament began in 1991, while the men's team has never won, although the Men's World Cup tournament began in 1930.
At the 2019 Teen Choice Awards, Swift pleaded with viewers at home, asking them to speak up about the pay gap and share what they want to be done. "What happened to them is unfair," Swift told the crowd, speaking of the women's soccer team, "and it's happening everywhere, and they are heroes and icons for standing up."
Swift also used her speech to thank the Teen Choice Awards for putting her "itty bitty pretty kitty committee" on her customized surfboard award. She was thrilled that her "furry children" — her cats Meredith, Olivia and Benjamin — were all pictured on the trophy.
"Aesthetically speaking, this may be my favorite award," she added with a laugh.
Swift's attention also went to her dedicated fans, the Swifties: "Thank you for giving me the life that I have every single minute of every day," she told them from stage. "I know that you're the reason that I have the life I have and that I get to do what I love doing."
Before finishing her speech, the superstar gave the crowd of teens a piece of advice: "I think one thing I wish I would have known when I was a teen is that mistakes are inevitable," she explained. "I think that, you know, sometimes you think you can try hard enough, make every decision perfectly, you think you can possibly, like, ace life and never make any mistakes. It's normal to make mistakes, and I just want to let you know that if you're out there being really hard on yourself right now for something that's happened or messing up or feeling embarrassed ... it's normal.
"That's what's going to happen to you in life. No one gets through unscathed; we're all going to have a few scratches on us," she added. "So just please be kind to yourselves and stand up for yourself."
Before leaving the stage, Swift announced that her next song, "Lover," will be released on Friday (Aug. 16). It's the title track of her seventh studio album, Lover, which arrives in full on Aug. 23. She's previously shared new songs "Me!," featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, "You Need to Calm Down" and "The Archer."
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