Solange, Maxine Waters and Women’s March Organizers Honored as Glamour’s ‘Women of the Year’

By Sameer Rao Oct 31, 2017

Glamour magazine features Solange, U.S. congresswoman Maxine Waters and more women of color excelling in fields ranging from grassroots organizing to high fashion in this year’s "Women of the Year" issue.

The magazine published the full list of honorees and accompanying features on its website yesterday (October 30). Glamour will honor those women and others at a November 13 gala. Four of the nine individual honorees are women of color. Glamour also recognized 24 Women’s March organizers, including leaders of color like Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, with a single spot.

Here are some key passages from the profiles and essays on each honoree, with links to their full features and cover shoots:

  • "While I worked on the album on-and-off for three years, at one point, I spent three months writing songs in Patoutville, Louisiana, about two hours from New Orleans, where the popu­la­tion is, like, 300 people. There’s such a rich regional culture there—a sense of pride, tradition and resilience. It inspired me in such a powerful way. We worked in a house on a sugar plantation, and I’ll never forget feeling the closest I could possibly feel to my ancestors, to my lineage. It put me in a constant state of reflection. I really wanted to reclaim and change the narrative—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." —Musician Solange on writing "A Seat at the Table"
  • "’Both of my parents came from very humble beginnings and worked very, very hard,’ [Gigi Hadid] says. ‘It seems natural for them to have instilled that in their children.’ And yet it’s rarely part of the story told about her. ‘When I started working in fashion, it was like, ‘Gigi, the all-American.’ I was very much that "girl next door,"’ she says, ‘but if you read my interviews, I always talk about my parents’ cultural backgrounds.’" —Model Gigi Hadid , whose father is Palestinian
  • "[Maxine] Waters is now focused on building a bridge between old-guard politicians and new-school activists—to help create the next generation of Maxines. ‘I want young people to know that not only should they speak up for themselves, but sometimes they have to make demands,’ she says. ‘I want young people to feel comfortable in their own skin, to like themselves and to be able to present themselves—whenever and wherever they need to.’" —U.S. congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)
  • "We lived in tents. We had no electricity, no internet. We had to get our own water from a central tank. It was really sad. Things looked up when I found out there was a school. But when I went to my first class, I saw that so many of the children I’d seen in the tents weren’t there. I quickly learned that some girls, even those as young as 13, were being married to men in the camp instead of coming to school—their families thought marriage would protect them. I also discovered there was this general attitude around the camp: ‘We’ve lost our homes and are refugees. It’s not our right to be educated.’ That made me passionate. I could not accept that war could take everything. Nothing can take away your knowledge. And as refugees we needed education more than ever to face the challenges and suffering in our lives." —Syrian-born education activist Muzoon Almellehan on life in a refugee camp
  • "Grappling with this reality—that women of color and White women were coming to this conversation from completely different lived experiences—was as crucial to the march’s eventual success as the securing of crowd permits and restroom facilities. A 21st-century mass movement agitating for the rights of women could not, some organizers realized, be successful without a stark accounting of the feminist movements that had come before, when the concerns of well-off White women often took center stage and Black women were, sometimes literally, rele­gated to the sidelines. Activists like Vanessa Wruble urged [Bob] Bland and her colleagues to create a more inclusive movement. ‘I saw it as an opportunity to try to build a coalition among women from different backgrounds, knowing it needed to be led, in part at least, by women of color,’ says Wruble. She became director of operations for the march: ‘We couldn’t make the same mistakes and do something that’s going to tear this country apart and make it worse.’"Women’s March organizers

Read the full profiles at