You know, I like never check my mailbox. Only because it's soooo depressing! Bill after bill that I can't even pay followed with notices of the fact that my rent is once again overdue. Sigh.
However, one rather spirited evening I was feeling rather nice after a fun dinner out with friends (code for me being tipsy tee hee hee) and decided "What the hey! Let me just gander on over and check my mail box!" Buried underneath a pile of New York Magazines (LOVE that publication!) and an overdue Time Warner Cable bill was a huge envelope addressed to me from Glamour magazine!
I quickly ripped it open and there was the invitation of my dreams: a ticket to the annual Women Of The Year Awards! I must have squealed for like 20 minutes in the lobby! (My doorman already thinks I'm insane haha).
Just a little bit of background, I've been itching to the go to this awards show since I moved here to New York five years ago. From several sources I've heard that it's an inspiring night and that some of the most powerful women in the world are present. This year was the 20th Anniversary of the show and it did not disappoint.
The stage right before everyone filled their seats. I was so exited to be going that I got there super early! As you can see, I was sitting pretty high up and my 7-inch platform YSL's were obvs not the most comfortable at that high altitude. So, I ended up taking them off and watched the show in my stocking feet. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would one day end up attending this show in Carnegie Hall practically barefoot, I would have laughed in your face lol!
Check out some of my fave highlights from the show below:
Janelle Monae opened the show with a performance of her hit single "Tightrope." This little woman has the best dance moves ever and I couldn't help but dance along with her in my seat while watching her perform! And I die over that cape. I mean, who else could wear an Elvis Presley looking cape while singing and look so cool doing it?!
Doesn't Kate Hudson look glamazing?! She was there to present a WOTY award to Fergie. Turns out that the two are BFF's and Fergie totally called Hudson "Katealicious" during her acceptance speech! Love that.
Yes, it's Donatella Versace in all her gold gown glory. Not only is the mastermind behind some of the most beautiful clothes in the world, but she also spends some time helping out underpriviledged children! I always looked at her as a cold, no-nonsense taking diva but (while this still may be true) turns out that she can also be quite loving. Awwww!
Here's actress Hilary Swank...looking, well, pretty swank! I'm assuming that's a Versace gown she's rocking because she presented a WOTY award to Donatella Versace and confessed that they were her favorite gowns to wear and that she always felt lucky when wearing one. Cheers to that, Hilary! I'd feel lucky if I even had the chance to wear one..which I'm sure I will have soon hahaha.
Janet Jackson surprised the crowd when she appeared along with actress Hilary Swank to present Donatella Versace her WOTY award. In a very emotional speech, she said that Donatella has been a friend of the family for years and that she dressed them all for Michael Jackson's funeral. "When I asked Donatella if she would dress us, I knew that we would be dressed in love," Jackson said. Almost made me spring a tear!
Speaking of tears, these women did make me well up a bit after watching their video about the work they do. In the middle is Dr. Hawa Abdi, 63, and she's flanked by her daughters (who are also doctors) Deqo, 35 (right) and Amina, 30 (left). These women protect and provide medical care for thousands of Somalian refugees that live on their land. In case you didn't know, Somalia has been dubbed by the U.N. as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. When Dr. Abdi was kidnapped and taken hostage by Islamist militants who challenged her authority, she faced them with no fear and was eventually freed. During the video, they showed refugees in the camp as well as the many babies and young children that die because they have no food to eat. With tears in her eyes, Deqo said that it is easier to deal with the deaths when you don't know what to do or you did everything that you could. But, when someone dies because you had nothing to feed them, that's really hard. I was instantly moved and my eyes welled up with tears. I know what's it like to be hungry, but never would I actually starve to death! I was so moved that I just had to figure out how I can help. You know, I don't have much but something is always better than nothing, Glamazons. Click here to read more about the Women Of The Year Fund and how you can donate to help. Every little bit counts!
Cover girl and honoree Fergie really did cry when accepting her award from Kate Hudson! That's her pictured above with her mom (on the left) and her sister (on the right). In her video, Fergie's mother said that when Fergie was a little girl, she wanted to be two things: a lifeguard or a singer. The video showcased Fergie's singing career that started with Disney's Kid's Incorporated (I used to love that show!) all the way up to her success with The Black Eyed Peas. She thanked both her mom, sister and her therapist (loved that!) and said "I love you" to her cutie pie husband Josh Duhamel. So sweet!
And talk about fierce! Check out her bod in that fire engine red dress. POW! Isn't she a hottie?!
Kelly Osbourne has got to be the cutest little celeb around! She looks so happy and seemed almost glowing while onstage presenting an award to gay rights activist Constance McMillen. Constance was denied access to her prom in Fulton, Mississippi after asking to attend with her girlfriend and became a celeb in practically overnight when she filed a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union. Osbourne's words of advice to McMillen? "As you guys know, I've got some really great dance moves now," she said, referring to her stint on Dancing With The Stars. "F*ck the prom. You can dance with me!"
This little lady is 23-year-old Katie Spotz and she's the youngest person to row across the Atlantic ocean. Why did she do such a thing?! To call attention to the fact that there are billions of people out there that don't have clean water to drink. Her row raised funds for the nonprofit Blue Planet Network. After watching her video montage, I was completely floored. She was in a little rowboat, completed 10,000 strokes per day and slept two hours per night. All alone. In the ocean. Sounds insane but so empowering! It made me think that I've done absolutely nothing of substance with my life so far to help anyone other than myself. Something that I need to change immediately!
Three of some of my most fave women in the world! Cindi Leive (EIC of Glamour), Julia Roberts and Oprah. In her intro speech, Cindi said that she started at Glamour as an Editorial Assistant and worked her way up the ladder. She mentioned the first Women Of The Year Awards ceremony that she attended was at the Rainbow Room here in New York and she considered herself to be extremely lucky to have a place to stand in the back of the room during the show. And now look at her! Running the show! So inspirational. And Oprah? Do I really need to say anything about her except that Coutura and I are head over heels in love with her?! I was so honored just to share the same air as her! hahaha
One of the funniest moments during the show happened above when Julia Roberts accepted her WOTY award from Oprah. That red thing (does anyone have any clue as to what that is?!) is the statue that each of the honorees received. The first thing out of Julia's mouth? "What the hell is this?!" and then she laughed. Hilarious! At the end of the show, Cindi said that whomever guessed correctly what the award statue is supposed to represent would receive an all-expense paid trip to next year's WOTY Awards. She said to tweet your response to Glamour.com with hashtag #woty. Side note: a pretty wack prize if you ask me! I mean, most everyone there in attendance lives in New York! So a month's free rent would be a heck of a lot more lucrative, wouldn't you say?! hahaha
Cher received the Lifetime Achievement Award because she's awesome and doesn't even look like she's even been alive a whole lifetime! While on the stage, she kept stepping onto the train of her dress and cursed loudly ("God d*mmit," she said) and had the best quote of the evening.
"Don't take no for an answer. No is just some bullsh*t answer that someone made up." I couldn't agree more. She even compared herself to a bumper car and wasn't afraid to admit that she's made plenty of mistakes along the way and that once she hits the wall, she just bounces back and keeps going. Greatness personified! I really wanted her to start singing, but considering that Glamour cut out the cocktails portion of the event, I'm willing to bet that there was no way they could afford to pay her to perform hahaha.
While I could go on and on about this night (it was seriously just that amazing!) I can sum it up by saying that it's inspired me like no other to a. continue to go after what I want no matter what anyone says and b. that I need to give back more..starting with my own community! Saying that I'm too busy is just not a sufficient excuse when I see these celebs and everyday women making such a big difference in the world today. Be sure to check out Glamour.com for more highlights and a complete list of honorees!