Celebrating Strong Women for Women’s History Month
March 09, 2023
From “The Woman King” star Viola Davis to track-and-field athlete Allyson Felix and many more in between, “The Jennifer Hudson Show” recognizes the contributions these women have made to history and contemporary society and celebrates the strength they’ve shown along the way.
In honor of Women's History Month, check out some of the best moments of Jennifer Hudson putting the spotlight on strong, powerful women on the show!
The EGOT-winning actress shared with JHud the amount of intense training she did for three months to prepare for her starring role in “The Woman King,” which she also produced.
“Yes, I did do the stunts, and I’m gonna say it until the day I leave this earth,” she said. “I didn’t want to look bad next to those young girls!”
She also shared the personal reason that served as motivation for taking on the project. “I’m one of those people who wants agency,” she told JHud. “When I saw ‘Gladiator,’ I said, ‘I wanna do that!’ When I saw ‘Braveheart,’ I said, ‘I wanna do that!’ I wanted to do an action movie. I wanted to do something historically epic. But I wanted Black people to be in it!
“I always want to see an expansiveness of our humanity,” she added. “I want us to show us completely who we are.”
The Emmy-winning actress dished about her love for other amazing women in the entertainment business, including “Abbott Elementary” star Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Right before the 2022 Emmys, Hannah — who won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on “Ted Lasso” the year prior — told fellow nominee Sheryl (whom she called “Queen Ralph”) on the red carpet, “Are you ready? I hope you’re ready because it’s your night, lady.”
She also explained that she had a blast at the Emmys because she wore a pair of high-top sneakers underneath her Dolce & Gabbana gown instead of heels!
“I enjoyed it so much more,” she said of being comfortable through the event. “I will dance you under the table and stay under there and drink with you till 6 a.m.… if you have sneakers on!”
Allyson Felix — the most decorated woman in Olympic track-and-field history — discussed with JHud the “ups and downs” of her journey, including how sponsors reacted to her 2018 pregnancy with daughter Camryn.
“I wasn’t supported as well as I could’ve been,” she said. “My contracts were renegotiated at 70%.”
Without naming the company, Allyson recalled how she spoke up against a now-former sponsor, who she alleges initially refused to guarantee salary protections for pregnant athletes.
“I asked for protection. I spoke [out], and parted ways with the company. When I spoke out, they changed,” Allyson said about the brand’s policy.
Following the experience, Allyson no longer had a footwear sponsor and felt “frustrated.”
However, Allyson — along with her brother Wes — saw an opportunity and created her own footwear line called Saysh, which specifically designs sneakers to fit the shape and form of a female foot.
When asked what she wants to say to “little girls” everywhere, Allyson urges them “to stand up for what they believe in.”
“No one can put limits on [you]. You have to be a fighter.”
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Lindsey Vonn, the most decorated female skier of all time, spoke to JHud about her battle with depression — which she also detailed in her book, “Rise: My Story.”
“A lot of people didn’t understand it. How could you be an Olympian and have depression?” she said.
Despite her success, Lindsey said, “It was hard to be at the top and be in my hotel room all alone, isolating.”
The Olympic gold medalist also discussed suffering from low self-esteem, which came about once she got invited to red carpets after her Olympic success.
“Being on the red carpet with people that are half my size was shocking,” she said.
These days, Lindsey said, “I feel great now.”
She added that “mental health is just as important as physical health.”
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Pop icon, dancer, choreographer, and TV personality Paula Abdul shared the story about auditioning to be a Laker Girl and refusing to take no for an answer. She brought a dance bag full of different outfits to the audition, where hundreds of girls were vying for a chance to become a cheerleader for the L.A. Lakers.
According to Paula, she got up with her group and was eliminated before even getting a chance to dance. So — she decided to change her clothes and hair and pretend to be another person to audition again!
“There’s no rules!” she remembered thinking.
She got cut again — but didn’t give up. “I still have one more outfit!”
“I saved the best for last — I pulled out the Jane Fonda chevron striped leotard,” said Paula.
“I ran right to middle front and I got to dance. Then they said, back half of the arena come forward, the front half go back. I go, ‘Shoot, they’re gonna forget about me. Be bold, be daring.’ So I ran right back up to the front.”
And that’s how Paula became a Laker Girl, and the rest is history. “Three time’s the charm!” she exclaimed.
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