Chloé Hayden’s inimitable star power is clear to anyone who meets her.
A supernova with no sign of slowing down, the Heartbreak High breakout star’s work as a neurodivergent advocate, actor, author and all-round shining light in Australia is what landed her as the winner of marie claire Australia’s ‘Rising Star Of The Year’ award for 2022.
marie claire celebrated the formidable Australian women who have fought with passion, led with bravery and inspired with creativity in 2022 with soirée exalting the power of sisterhood at Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney’s CBD.
Donned in a Romance Was Born creation, which Hayden described as “the prettiest thing that has ever been on my body”, Hayden revealed to us before accepting her award that the nomination was a “what the heck” moment for her.
But as for the actual award itself?
We’ll let Chloé tell you herself—below, read her moving acceptance speech from the 2022 marie claire Women Of The Year awards.
Chloé Hayden’s ‘Rising Star Of The Year’ Award Acceptance Speech From marie claire Australia’s 2022 Woman Of The Year Award.
“I didn’t prepare anything because there are so many incredible people here I wasn’t even expecting to be in this room nevertheless standing up here!
“Growing up I was so convinced that I wasn’t supposed to be here. I was so convinced I was a mistake, that I was a glitch and that someone had made a mistake somewhere and that I was an alien that had crash landed on a planet that made absolutely no sense to me.
“When I was seven years old I wrote in my diary asking God why I was born and every single night up until I was 20 I left my bedroom window open a crack on the chance that Peter Pan would come take me away to a land that made so much more chance than this one ever did.
“I grew up never seeing myself represented, I grew up knowing that my mind, everything that was my mind was wrong and broken and strange and different.
“I was taught that different was bad because I never saw myself represented anywhere.
“Now, if I could go back in time and talk to six year old Chloe, if I could talk to 24 year old Chloe and I could show how not that I’m just standing here, but that I’m alive and I’m existing… but not just that, there are so many neurodivergent and disabled woman here tonight and if I could show them Chloe and that she’s alive and existing she would never ever believe you.
“Different is something that is so important and so powerful and so incredible.
“No one has ever made a change by being the same, no one has ever done anything by being the same and every single woman in this room tonight is showcasing that and showcasing just how important and brilliant and incredible ‘different’ is.
“I am so excited to be standing here tonight and I just want to thank every single disabled person, neuordivergent person and different person that came before me and make a pathway for my fairytale.
“I hope that any young person in the room tonight and disabled person in the room tonight and whoever is watching this, if you have young children who are different understand that different isn’t less, different is powerful and beautiful and so incredible important.
“Change is made by being different and it’s time that those who are different see themselves for who they are because who you are is exactly who you’re supposed to be.”