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Glamour magazine honors 'Women of the Year'

By Robin Givhan

roberts

Actress Julia Roberts waves after accepting a Woman of the Year award from presenter Oprah Winfrey. (Reuters)

Glamour magazine handed out its annual Women of the Year awards Monday night at Carnegie Hall in New York. The magazine is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the honors, which take note of women who are making a positive impact on our world. This year's winners ranged from fashion designer Donatella Versace to a Somali mother and her two daughters -- all doctors -- who have created a refugee camp and medical clinic on their family farm, where they are providing aide to thousands of displaced souls.

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Singer Fergie holds up her Woman of the Year award in front of presenter Kate Hudson.

Glamour has always been a women's magazine that is more current affairs and cultural news than fashion, but its awards provide an opportunity to mix a little glitz with do-gooding. While the winners are announced as soon as the magazine's November issue hits newsstands, the suprises are in the presenters. Actress Hillary Swank kicked off the adulation of Versace, but the emotional impact came when Janet Jackson took the stage and talked about how both she and Versace had lost their brothers -- and collaborators -- unexpectedly. (Gianni Versace had also designed stage clothes for Michael Jackson.) When the King of Pop died, his sister said, she called Versace and asked her to dress the family for the funeral. (Yes, apparently superstars are wardrobed for mourning.) "We were dressed in Versace," Janet Jackson said, "which means we were dressed in love."

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Soccer star Mia Hamm, left, and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg listen to skier Lindsey Vonn speak as she accepts her award. (Reuters)

Chelsea Clinton took the stage to introduce 20 girls who were sort of junior women of the year. Clinton was wearing a bold floral print dress, black tights and white patent pumps. Yes, it was as curious an ensemble as it sounds. The young women Clinton introduced included "Style Rookie" fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson and a teenager who had developed a rocket navigation system -- a revelation that left the entire audience wallowing in personal insecurity.

And Oprah Winfrey presented actress Julia Roberts with her award. By the time Winfrey was done, Roberts was practically elevated to sainthood. Any meeting with Roberts is intimate and deeply touching, Winfrey said. "You feel seen. You feel heard. You feel valued." Oh my.

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Actress Julia Roberts accepts her award. (Reuters)

Winfrey threw in a plug for her new network, OWN, by noting that Roberts considered her most important role in life to be that of a mom and so she had produced a documentary on extraordinary moms that would debut on, yes, the soon to be launched Oprah Winfrey Network.

The awards presentation was followed by a dinner at the Museum of Modern Art. The menu included a timbale of veggies, sliced ribeye and flourless chocolate cake. This being a fashion event, everyone was up and mingling or heading for the doors by the time the cake arrived. Everyone except, of course, yours truly.

By Robin Givhan  | November 9, 2010; 12:28 AM ET
Categories:  Robin Givhan  
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Comments

Fergie should have left her cheating husband at home. She is talented but stupid when it comes to men. So she kinda deserves a woman of the year award as long as she is getting for her career and not for common sense.

Posted by: Billydwilliams | November 9, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

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