It’s been one epic year for women, a notion definitely not lost on Glamour magazine as it named U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, 27 key facilitators of the Women’s March on Washington and astronaut Peggy Whitson among its women of the year from the worlds of politics, entertainment, fashion, business and more.
The other winners announced Monday, ahead of a Nov. 13 gala in Brooklyn, New York, are actor Nicole Kidman, singer Solange Knowles, Syrian refugee Muzoon Almellehan, late-night TV host Samantha Bee, supermodel Gigi Hadid, Dior’s first female creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, and “Wonder Woman” helmswoman Patty Jenkins.
Cindi Leive, Glamour’s editor-in-chief, called them “wildly diverse changemakers” who reflect this “tumultuous and electric year for women.” All will be on hand for the magazine’s annual awards night, with a summit featuring Chelsea Clinton, Laverne Cox, Cecile Richards and other past winners planned for earlier the same day.
This year’s honorees will be featured on multiple Glamour covers and in a spread for December.
A look at some in the Class of 2017:
Listening especially to the strong voices of young women after Hillary Clinton’s popular vote win but Electoral College loss to Donald Trump, Glamour called the impact of the Women’s March massive, along with an outpouring around the globe.
“Vastly more women turned out for the march, not just in Washington but the marches around the world, than anyone expected,” Leive told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “There were so many hundreds of women who were involved in the organization and planning of these marches, but 27 key leaders and organizers really devoted the lion’s share of their time between Election Day and Inauguration Day.”
In all, an estimated half a million made their way to Washington, where maybe 200,000 had been expected, and 5 million more gathered everywhere from Australia to Antarctica.
The honorees are:
Bob Bland, Tamika D. Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Paola Mendoza, Carmen Perez, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Janaye Ingram, Ginny Suss, Emma Collum, Cassady Fendlay, Lisa Harps, Mia Ives-Rublee, Rabbi Barat Ellman, Toshi Reagon, Sophie Ellman-Golan, ShiShi Rose, Caitlin Ryan, Jenna Arnold, Nantasha Williams, Alyssa Klein, Mariam Ehrari, Meredith Shepherd, Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, Breanne Butler, Mrinalini Chakraborty, Brea Baker and De’Ara Balenger.
THE CONGRESSWOMAN WHO COULD
At 79, Maxine Waters describes herself in Glamour as a mix of “intellect and alley cat.” She has been on the front line of progressive politics for years, but that moment over the summer when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared to be trying to run out her allotted five minutes rather than answer her questions about Trump’s financial ties to Russia, the congresswoman shut him down when she declared repeatedly that she was “reclaiming my time.” Her words became a hashtag and a call to action for women.
Waters earned Glamour’s lifetime achievement award.
“Most young people really became aware of her over the course of this year because she’s been very vocal, very outspoken, standing up to members of the administration, but she’s actually had an incredibly inspiring lifetime of achievement,” Leive said. “This is a woman who grew up without all that much and decided that she would go back to college in her 20s, after having worked at the phone company, and then worked as a community coordinator for Head Start. She wasn’t born into politics or anything like that. She really made her own career.”
GIGI THE SUPERNOVA
The first time Gigi Hadid bubbled to the surface was on the reality show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Modeling since she was around 3, she went from a Guess campaign at 17 to supermodel five years later, racking up numerous magazine covers, editorial gigs and runway shows, along with a fashion collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger and an upcoming cosmetics collection with Maybelline.
As Glamour writes, Hadid didn’t just take off, “she took over.”
At 22, Hadid has a 36-million strong following on Instagram and a megaplatform that could easily have been wasted. Instead, she has spoken out about gun control and marched with sister Bella to protest Trump’s signing of an executive order that suspended immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim countries.
Their father, real estate developer Mohamed Hadid, was born in Palestine and their mother, Yolanda Hadid, emigrated from Holland in her teens.
“When I started working in fashion, it was like, Gigi, the all-American. I was very much that ‘girl next door,'” she told Glamour, “but if you read my interviews, I always talk about my parents’ cultural backgrounds.”
Leive called her “incredibly wise beyond her years.”
SOLANGE BREAKS IT OPEN
With a Grammy win and a groundbreaking album, “A Seat at the Table,” Knowles is living her truth in abundance. The record, released late last year, takes on some key issues: racism, cultural appropriation, activism and empowerment among them.
“She’s such a fantastic and inspiring example of somebody who has always chosen not to do things the easy way,” Leive said. “Her sister is Beyonce. She could have become a pop star in any number of ways but she decided to really focus on her own personal vision of art.”
Knowles told the magazine that she worked on “A Seat at the Table” on and off for three years, at one point spending three months writing songs in tiny Patoutville, Louisiana, soaking up the pride, resilience and traditions of the regional culture. She worked in a house on a sugar plantation, feeling a closeness to her ancestors and feeling a “constant state of reflection.”
Part of her goal was to reclaim and change her own narrative, she said, “whether it was people challenging who wrote what on my album, whether it was about some editor commenting on my hair in a story or someone feeling like they were entitled to space in my life. I needed to unfold, reveal and discover my truth.”