Glamour magazine has announced its honorees for the mag’s annual Women of the Year Awards, and it’s a dynamic group of ladies!
From pop-star Lady Gaga to Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai, the 11 women being honored (plus couple Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly) are truly inspiring individuals!
Here's a little about each one:
• Mega superstar Lady Gaga whom Glamour refers to as a singer, performance artist, activist and icon. Artist Jeff Koons calls her a leader and says, “Pop Culture needs her.”
• 16-year-old Afghan student and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai, who stood up to the Taliban in support of female education. "By targeting her, extremists showed what they feared most: a girl with a book,” says Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations.
• Couple of the Year: Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. In Jan. 2011, US Representative Giffords was shot in the head while meeting with voters near Tucson, Arizona. Husband Mark, an astronaut for NASA, has been by her side every step of the way. "They have inspired our nation with their commitment to making America a safer place. And their devotion to each other is an example to us all," shares former presidential candidate John McCain.
• Costume and production designer Catherine Martin, whose work includes films like The Great Gatsby and Australia. "She brings warmth and humor and energy to every story and character—and inspires me constantly,” says Gatsby actress Carey Mulligan.
• Emmy nominee and Scandal actress Kerry Washington. Michelle Obama says there is “no bigger star right now than Kerry,” and boy is that true. Washington’s acting chops and incredible beauty have netted her an award-winning drama series and a place on best-dressed lists.
• Models and maternal health ambassadors Liya Kebede and Christy Turlington Burns. During childbirth, Turlington Burns suffered a hemorrhage that, if left untreated, could have been fatal. For Ethiopian born Kebede, she witnessed this tragedy far too often. The women have long been supporters of maternal health care. Says fellow activist Bono, "It's maddening that women are dying for no good reason. When women like Christy and Liya get organized on their behalf, things change."
• Founder of luxury online shopping site Net-A-Porter.com, Natalie Massenet. "She started a $500 million company with a business plan that didn't exist before. She changed the fashion industry—in heels,” says Jenna Lyons, president and executive director of J. Crew.
• 21-year-old surfing world champ Carissa Moore. She became the youngest person ever to win the women’s world surfing championship at 18 and hopes to serve as a role model to young girls everywhere. "I hope I can inspire girls to be confident in who they are and what they stand for," she says.
• Legendary singer and actress Barbara Streisand. Her accolades alone, two Oscars, five Emmys, eight Grammys, and a Tony, are enough to make anyone green with envy. "As a young woman I wanted nothing more than to see my name in lights," says the star. "I couldn't have guessed how much more satisfying it would be to see…'The Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center,' she says of the heart disease center she helped fund at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
• Teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis. She calmly led her first-graders to a bathroom when shots rang out at the school. "No teacher expects to have to rescue her students from a deadly attack. But Kaitlin's quick thinking at Sandy Hook saved 15 lives,” says former first lady Laura Bush.
• Co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates. Though her husband is one of the richest men in the world, Melinda strives to help those who are far less fortunate. "As an effective and strategic leader, she's dedicated to solving the world's toughest problems,” shares former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.