Blanchett championed women's freedom of expression at the InStyle Awards

By Joey Nolfi
October 24, 2017 at 12:00 PM EDT

Cate Blanchett says a woman’s freedom of expression has nothing to do with the desires of men.

Accepting the Icon prize at Monday night’s third annual InStyle Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, the Oscar-winning actress used her platform to call for collective confidence through fashion.

“For me, the true icons of style… it’s always those women who’ve been utterly themselves without apology, whose physical presence and their aesthetic is really integrated in a non self-conscious way into part of who they are, and women who know how they look is not all of who they are, but just an extension of that,” she said in her acceptance speech. “It’s about women who feel free to wear what they want when they want and how they want to wear it. We all like looking sexy, but it doesn’t mean we want to f— you.”

She also took aim at the unfair standard women — especially those in the public eye — are held to, specifically when it comes to issues of presentation and appearance.

“No one says to Steve Bannon, ‘You look like a bag of trash, do you want me to throw you out?'” she continued. “But the comments that get said about what women wear on the red carpet, if you troll through those trolls on the internet, just don’t.”

Watch a portion of Blanchett’s speech above.