Miss Piggy Honored as a Feminist Icon - and With Good Reason!
By Gina Vivinetto
On Thursday, international icon Miss Piggy joined the ranks of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to become the latest recipient of a Sackler Center First Award from the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. The award is a major honor given each year to a female who has broken barriers.
Elizabeth Sackler, the founder of the center, told an interviewer that the beloved Muppet is more than deserving of the award. “She has spirit, she has determination, she has grit,” Sackler said.
At the awards ceremony, 41-year-old Miss Piggy posed for a photo with another legendary feminist, Gloria Steinem, which Miss Piggy later shared on Instagram.
While that news may shock some, it comes as no surprise at all to the supremely confident moi, Miss Piggy herself. After all, the strong-willed lady has been teaching young girls (and their adult counterparts) how to balance their careers and love lives – and look fabulous while doing it -- since she first hit the scene, with some help from legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, back in 1974.
Miss Piggy wrote about receiving this year’s Sackler prize in a Time editorial, “Why I Am a Feminist Pig.”
“Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it about time?” Miss Piggy writes of the honor. She addresses those who feel she is undeserving by pointing out that she’s always “refused to accept society’s preconceived notions of who or what they can be is a feminist. I believe any woman who is willing to struggle, strive — and if necessary learn karate — to make their mark in the world is a feminist. And, yes, I believe that any woman, who cares about her appearance, her star billing and most especially her percentage of the gross, is a feminist.”
Although she admits she’s never been one to march in the streets or burn a bra -- she explains that she “pays top dollar for intimate apparel” – Miss Piggy has been the face of empowerment for five decades. Her impressive resume includes acting on a hit network television show and appearing in top-grossing Hollywood films, as well as authoring several landmark self-help books. Her 1982 tome Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life, and 2009’s The Diva Code: Miss Piggy on Life, Love, and 10,000 Idiotic Things Men Frogs Do surely touched countless lives. Let’s not forget, Miss Piggy was also one of the earliest women to run for president in 1980.
Along the way, Miss Piggy found time to marry her longtime sweetheart, Kermit the Frog, who also attended Thursday’s event and shared photos via his Instagram.
Most wonderful of all, Miss Piggy’s fans, both old and new, can enjoy her all over again this fall as The Muppets return, after two decades, to network television, on a new ABC show.
In her Time editorial, Miss Piggy acknowledges that giving a feminist award to a pig is an unprecedented move. But feminism, she says, is all about not letting people limit women. And pigs.
As she’s prone to do, Miss Piggy gets philosophical in the piece, imagining the future of feminism: “It must believe in itself,” Miss Piggy writes. “Share its triumphs, overcome its setbacks and inspire future generations.”
“It must, in other words, be a lot like … moi.”
Watch the scenes that didn't make the cut from Muppets Most Wanted!