Image Credit: Screenshot/YouTube

Mayim Bialik might play a genius on TV, but people may not know that she’s actually kind of a genius in real life, as well. After 7 seasons on the hit CBS show “The Big Bang Theory,” most people would assume Bialik’s biggest accomplishment in life would revolve around acting.

But judging by her BS in Neuroscience and Hebrew & Jewish Studies, and subsequent Ph.D. in Neuroscience, those people would be wrong.

Image Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

In addition to her extensive and impressive background in science and the arts, Bialik has shown that she isn’t afraid to be outspoken about the role of femininity and sexuality in women’s lives. And like many people, Bialik is very much invested in the term “empowerment” — a word thrown around quite often these days.

Just one glance on social media shows that the word can be found stapled under a picture of semi-naked women:

However, Bialik has said that she feels that the newfound connection between “empowered” and being naked is frightening. In a recently posted YouTube video, she argued that women today are losing the actual meaning of the word:

“Anyone else having issues with celebs disrobing in the name of empowerment? I’m sure you’re not surprised that I do and I think you should, too! Is the way to inspire young girls’ confidence to equate nakedness with empowerment?”

She quickly answered her own question, saying:

“Getting naked is not the only way to feel empowered as a beautiful person.”

Bialik first insisted that she wasn’t being “prude” or “fat shaming” anyone, rather quite the opposite:

“I’m not going to lie, I have spent some of my life wishing I was pretty and skinny like other women. But I’m not constitutionally jealous of women. I’m mature enough to separate my issues and insecurities from the issues that I have surrounding women disrobing in the name of empowerment.”

Although she noted the benefits of real women showing others that it’s ok to look like they do:

“When plus-sized models show themselves as desirable and beautiful, it opens up our society’s notions of beauty. and that’s a good thing.”

However, she noted that the problem lies with the underlying message:

“I think the trap that we’re falling into is that we start to equate empowerment, not with strength or intelligence or confidence, but with sexiness.”

Image Credit: Screenshot/YouTube

She continued, saying that what it really tells girls is that, yes, it’s nice to be accomplished and educated, but do so while remaining easy on the eyes:

“The message that we are sending, especially to young girls is, above all else: Be sexy. And no matter what you accomplish or achieve or stand for, what really matters most is to be featured on the pages of a magazine that typically displays women who are paid to maintain a sexy appearance. The message is: ‘I should be celebrated, and the way that I do that is by presenting myself as a sexualized object.'”

But Bialik isn’t one to just call out a problem and not offer a solution. In fact, she shared hers — balance:

“While there is nothing wrong with beauty and sexiness, getting naked is not the only way to feel empowered as a beautiful person.”

And she concluded that actual “empowerment” doesn’t come from having appealing aesthetics, rather how women interact with the world:

“True empowerment comes from women being seen as equal partners in a creative and productive culture.”

You can check out the full video below:

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