Since taking home the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy and bringing inspiration into our lives through her speeches, Sheryl Lee Ralph has been a great source of joy in Hollywood. As Barbara Howard in ABC’s Abbott Elementary, Ralph’s character gives viewers a sense of safety for which there are no words to describe adequately. And in using her platform to speak what’s on her mind, Ralph reminds us of the things we need to get through our days.
During the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards, Sheryl Lee Ralph proudly declared that how we see ourselves in the mirror matters more than anything else. And here’s the thing, we all know these things, right? It’s what we see and hear about therapy. It’s what people have been telling us for ages. But it’s different when it comes from an actress we admire, and it’s different when it comes from somehow who’s living proof of how hard work eventually pays off.
The thing is, Sheryl Lee Ralph has been in this business for a while. And when you’re in a place in your career when it feels like you might not make it, where your dreams are far from reach, seeing someone like Ralph on top brings just the right amount of hope necessary to believe.
Further, there’s something beautiful about her wins deriving from her role as Barbara because it is a fact that our lives would be better if we had her in them. She might be a fictional character, but Barbara Howard is the type of exemplary woman who could change lives in an instant because she’s all heart. In every way, Barbara is a nuanced, well-written character brought to life by a woman who cares tremendously about humanity and takes on everything with an unbeatable sense of grace.
In other words, if Sheryl Lee Ralph tells us to love ourselves and who we see in the mirror, we’re going to try — harder than we ever have before because watching her take all her wins and using them to uplift is an irreplaceable gift in itself. She’s the type of actress who’s so full of heart that every time she speaks, it feels personal. It feels like it’s coming straight to the parts of our hearts that need to hear her words, and we’re incredibly thankful that she’s rightfully sweeping award season so we can continue seeing more of her wisdom.
Also, if you aren’t following the powerhouse of a star on social media (Instagram and Twitter), then you’re missing out on someone consistently using their platform for a place of positivity that feels authentic and believable.