There she is! Right there … above this line — the editor-in-chief of Glamour Magazine!
Only a few years ago, when I was an ambitious magazine journalism student at Temple University, the chance to see such a famous magazine editor would have been the celebrity spotting of a lifetime. And last night — when I attended the 20th anniversary event of the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, I not only saw Glamour EIC Cindi Leive herself … but a star-studded array of celebrities, political figures, athletes, designers, talk show hosts, down-right humanitarians … and all around inspiring, passionate and awesomely altruistic women.
Last night’s event wasn’t about Glamour Magazine — it was about acknowledging the charitable and selfless acts of individuals who have chosen to use their stature and privileges to touch the lives of others in a compassionate and caring way. From the beautiful Queen Rania of Jordan — who is dubbed the “new media Queen” with her YouTube channel and Twitter account linked and synced to promote her 1 Goal campaign — to Hollywood sweetheart Julia Roberts’ patronage to Paul Newmann’s “Hole in the Wall Gang” summer camps for terminally ill children with cancer — the list of do-good accomplishments per each celebrity are both impressive and astounding.
We love fame because it gives us a glimpse into people’s lives with unlimited access, thanks to their finances and universal recognition, to things, people, places and general experiences that we may never know. So when a person possessive of the opportunity to do whatever he or she wants chooses to give money, time and an investment of energy and passion into a project, non profit, cause, person, idea, whatever! that is beyond the inner circle of their very public lives … well, that’s impressive.
What’s astounding? Just how much the women at Glamour’s Women of the Year awards GIVE of themselves — and how that gift of selfless giving goes unrecognized in general media outlets and amongst the minds of the general public. Queen Rania, for example, is a celebrity in Jordan for her 1 Goal campaign — promoting the cause of education for all in the world. In America? We recognize Snooki when she gets a spray tan. I mean, poor thing … that’s all she’s known for. But then again, Julia Roberts and tons of other A-list celebrities could choose to only be “known” for one thing — their acting facade of themselves. But not the celebrities at the Glamour awards — they are known for looking beyond themselves to others.
I’m excited to share this view-from-the-balcony of Carnegie Hall and your glimpse into the truly amazing women on stage last night. Last night’s event wasn’t even about honoring just the women on that stage — but every single women [and yes, man!] in the world. You were part of the honor last night because with will and determination, you can do whatever it is that you want.
And the best part? You can use that strength to help and inspire others to do the same. I founded Sammy Davis Vintage to do just that — and last night reminded me why I’m even writing this post to you right now. To inspire you to push yourself forward in the way which makes you feel good and leaves a positive impression on those around you.
Thank you, Glamour Magazine, for inviting Sammy Davis Vintage! Check back to my YouTube Channel soon for the video release of my inspiring night — complete with the reveal of what Little Black Dress I wore from my shopping trip to Goodwill last week, along with behind-the-scenes footage straight from my seat at Carnegie Hall!
My golden ticket! Off to Carnegie Hall in midtown Manhattan I went …
Carnegie Hall was a gorgeous venue — it was my first time there! Even the balcony seats, where I was sitting, had a near-perfect view of the action on stage.
The first award introduction from … Hillary Swank! She looked FANTASTIC! I think I have a girl crush developing … fast!
Queen Rania of Jordan, gorgeous inside and out.
Janet Jackson! I was definitely NOT expecting her attendance to the event … but wait … it gets even better! The celebrities just keep on a comin’
I’m not a designer-label type of girl … but I appreciate a beautiful dress when I see one — and a beautiful soul! It turns out Donatella Versace has BOTH. Her story was fresh because I had never learned about her philanthropic work until the event.
On the big screen is Lindsay Vonn, a Olympic gold-medalist skier. One stage she is joined with internationally known female American soccer star Mia Hamm and female pro basketball player Lisa Leslie. Lisa said it best when accepting her award, “Write down your goals and you can do it.”
Katie Couric! I can’t help but love her voice. She is truly a sensational person, and a woman I’d like to have dinner with before I die.
I had a realization last night: I’m a caring, passionate person without little understanding of the strife and unsettling life circumstances amongst the global population. Take Somalia. Ever hear of it? You probably have. Did you know that the country has been ravaged and torn apart — with one in 10 Somalians having been ripped from their homes — because of a decade-long gruesome civil war? Nope, I didn’t either — until last night.
Honored were Somalians Dr. Hawa Abdi and her daughters for establishing and running a refugee camp in Somalia that is undoubtedly one of the safest places for Somalians to live in their country.
Kate Hudson lightened the atmosphere with her introduction of the one-and-only [and Sammy D girl crush] FERGIE! who also graces the cover of this month’s issue of Glamour.
Hey Fergie!! I love you!! No, but really — Fergie is a real woman. She’s down to earth. She holds friends and family close. She respects herself and her role in Hollywood. And seriously … who doesn’t think Fergie helped give “licious” a giant comeback in American slang?
First Katie Couric, and now Diane Sawyer? My mind was blown!
You probably don’t recognize her. And that’s OK — I didn’t either. Meet Katie Spotz, the younger female rower to cross the Atlantic Ocean. And not only did she do that, but she helped raised a ton of money to give drinking water to people all around the world. By crossing a lot of water that she had to purify day in and day out to drink. And she slept in a 2 feet by 6 feet cubicle. And she braved waves, sharks, storms … loneliness. I can’t commend this woman for her resilience and passion enough.
Chelsea Clinton! I’ve seen her in person twice — the first time, when she was campaigning in Philadelphia for her mother’s presidential race. I thought she looked stunning — loved the wild hair! — and she was even more stunning announcing the 20 Women under 25 awards, including my good friend Tammy Tibbetts, founder of She’s the First! Check out the video from the non profit’s first-year birthday soiree.
Tavi, the famous 14-year-old fashion blogger prodigy, was also a recipient of the 20 Under 25 Glamour Women of the Year award.
Kelly Osbourne! She was the only announcer to swear … and probably the most fitting one to do so, too. She introduced the lady you are about to meet below, another inspiration to me thanks to the education of the event …
… meet Constance McMillen, who stood against her school’s prom doctrine stating that all couples must be of the “opposite sex.” Constance wanted to attend prom with her girlfriend — and when her school refused, she filed lawsuit and exposed this issue to the American public. She prevailed and demonstrated that if you stand up for what you believe in, you can achieve the results you believe in your heart are good and true.
Oprah Winfrey. It’s safe to assume that the crowd went CRAZY!
In her introductions, Cindi Leive shared a fact with the audience: There are currently 18 female heads-of-state or prime ministers in the world. Four of them, representing countries Lithuania, Slovakia, Trinidad and Liberia, were honored at the event.
Each female head-of-state had something inspiring to share. “Don’t be afraid of anything, anything is possible” — Lithuania.
“We are strong enough to lead with you [implying gentlemen]” — Slovakia
“I accept this honor on behalf of every woman who feels work unrecognized and unheralded.” — Trinidad
“All you need to do is dream and set your goals. You can and will become a leader as we are.” — Liberia
The head-of-state of Liberia.
Cher then … wearing something characteristically avant garde. I would argue that Cher was the first Lady Gaga!
My roommate saw Cher perform second row a few years ago. He said it was amazing. I’m not a Cher music fan per say, but I can believe it. Woman is truly a superstar, on the same ranks as Madonna, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, and other female vocal powerhouses.
Cher today — accepting her Glamour Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Her final words of wisdom to the audience: “What I want you girls and what I want for everyone, especially women, is that they don’t take no for an answer because no is just some bullshit word that someone made up.”