Michigan Avenue: Has there been a moment where you felt really empowered as a woman?
SOPHIA BUSH: I feel the most empowered when I’m working on things that I’m passionate about, when I’m using my voice. Women are so often silenced in the world, and when you take control of your voice and know that it’s worthy and exercise it, that’s a great way to start changing your own environment.
MA: You’re an inspiration to so many. Who continues to inspire you?
SB: I have the most inspiring group of friends, truly, and it’s a pretty incredible thing. We’ve got a group text chain that’s going all the time… It’s great to have women who inspire you to be your strongest self, and who can help pick you up when you’re feeling like you can’t do something and remind you that you can.
MA: Beyond today’s event, how would you encourage other people to continue to champion women?
SB: I think it’s an incredibly important conversation to be having. A couple of weeks ago, I was at South by Southwest, and we did this panel with the First Lady. What I loved is that one of the men in the room stood up and said, “As a man who cares about women, how can I support you? How can I help champion this conversation?” I was like, “You, sir, get a gold star!” We need everybody there to help with these conversations — both women and men — and what I said to him is something I’d like to say to everyone: Ask a woman you care about to share her life experience with you. Tell someone, “I want to hear your story: What works, what doesn’t, what’s hard, what don’t I know [that] you face in your life that feels like an obstacle, and how can I help change it?”
MA: #MyTrueBeauty is a big component of this movement. How do you define “beauty?”
SB: For me, it has to come from within. I think what is magnetic about people is not actually how they look, [but] how they feel that makes their face light up, that makes their smile so wide, that makes people really glow. I find that I feel beautiful when I feel inspired and empowered.
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