In light of Nov. 8’s presidential election results, talk quickly turned to politics at Monday’s annual Glamour Women of the Year awards at NeueHouse Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard.
Hosted by the magazine’s Editor in Chief Cindi Leive and sponsored by L’Oréal Paris, the affair saluted a diverse list of honorees: singer and style icon Gwen Stefani, fashion designer Miuccia Prada, actress Zendaya, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, model and body acceptance advocate Ashley Graham, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, anti-ISIS activist Nadia Murad, Stanford University sexual assault survivor Emily Doe and Bono, Glamour’s first-ever Man of the Year.
For those who didn’t see the event’s livestream or if you simply want to catch some of the highlights, here are our top takeaways.
1. “I had a totally different entrance planned,” said Tracee Ellis Ross during her remarks at the start of the evening. “I was going to rise up through the floor and shatter a glass ceiling, while Simone Biles and Bono and Lena Dunham did a floor routine behind me, as Gwen Stefani and Anna Wintour sang ‘I’m Just a Girl.’”
Noting that the election’s outcome saved everyone from that dangerous opening, the “black-ish” star added that she had been in a quandary about proper event attire. “Do I wear black because I’m in mourning? Do I go to a costume shop and get armor?” Instead, she said she chose a Fendi “nightie” (actually it was a slipdress) to reflect her current feelings of vulnerability.
2. On a different note, Stefani talked about her incredible year. “A year and a half ago, I was in a pool of tears,” she said as she thanked her parents for implanting her seed of faith and Blake Shelton “for kissing me back to life.”
“I’m blown away by this room,” Stefani continued.
And no wonder. In addition to the list of honorees, those onstage included Mindy Kaling, Joe Jonas, Laura Dern, Rashida Jones, Shonda Rhimes, Yara Shahidi, Keke Palmer, Rowan Blanchard, Gabby Sidibe, Freida Pinto, Amber Heard, Amy Poehler, Chelsea Handler, James Corden, Constance Wu, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and others.
Look across to women. Make equality a priority. It is the only way forward. The train is leaving the station. Be on it or be under it.
3. Presenting the Man of the Year Award, a poker-faced Poehler quipped, “What an exciting time for men. Can you feel it? Finally.” She later added, “We are going to spend the next four years watching white men congratulate themselves.”
4. Bono said he had the Internet to give him a dose of reality. “Out of all the women alive, #Bono is my favorite,” he said, reading select comments including, “It’s just so inspiring how she overcame the adversity of being a millionaire white dude.”
The U2 frontman then expressed his disappointment in 2016, saying, “This might be the year when I stopped believing progress on equality was inevitable. … It sounds like melodrama but it felt like a death because it was a death. It was, in some sense, a death of our innocence.”
Directing his final words to President-elect Donald Trump, Bono said, “Look across to women. Make equality a priority. It is the only way forward. The train is leaving the station. Be on it or be under it.”
5. During her turn onstage, Demi Lovato delivered an impassioned “Skyscraper” as a screen above her repeated Hillary Clinton’s directive to young girls as she conceded the presidential election, “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful.”
6. “Hillary’s loss is not easy to forget, but neither are her successes,” said Wintour before introducing Prada. “[Clinton] brought us so close that we could touch the glass above us — even if America could not yet break it.”
7. Dunham paid tribute to the anonymous Emily Doe, her eyes filled with tears as she spoke of her own experience with assault as a junior in college. Sidibe, Pinto and Heard then read Doe’s words, which the “Girls” creator called, “A gift to survivors like me.”
8. The ceremonies closed with more praise for Clinton, as stars crowded the stage to salute the candidate’s intelligence, determination, defense of women’s right to choose, advocacy for the planet and more, including Clinton’s fashion choices.
“We thank you for your composure, your compassion and your grace,” said Banks, “and for always looking so darn fierce in those friggin’ pantsuits.”
Ellen Olivier is the founder of Society News L.A.