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Outlander Spoilers: What Claire’s Devastating Choice Means For Season 4

Warning: major spoilers ahead for the second episode of Outlander Season 4, called “Do No Harm.”

Outlander has taken the Frasers to a whole new world for its fourth season. Aside from the hanging of a countryman, that whole new world seemed full of great opportunity for them up until Stephen Bonnet’s deadly attack. The Frasers’ circumstances weren’t the best as they approached Jocasta Cameron and her River Run. The good news is that Jamie’s aunt Jocasta welcomed Jamie, Claire, and Young Ian with open arms. The bad news is that River Run is a North Carolina plantation, and Jocasta owns more than a hundred slaves.

Given that Claire is a woman originally of the 20th century and Jamie knows all too well how it feels to be forced into labor by an oppressive ruling class, neither was happy about the slave situation, and even Young Ian didn’t see them as property. As if it wasn’t bad enough that River Run was tended by slaves, Claire was forced to make a devastating choice between her modern sensibilities and the general attitude toward slavery in Colonial America. Here’s what happened.

It didn’t take long for Claire to stand out at River Run with her attitude toward slavery. Upon meeting a slave by the name of Phaedre, she asked her to call her Claire, and only amended it to “Mistress Claire” when the others in the room where clearly aghast at her comment. Jocasta picked up on Claire’s distaste for slavery, and needled at her until Claire came clean about what was bothering her.

Claire’s statement that she doesn’t agree with holding people as property (while Phaedre was present to help fit Claire into one of Jocasta’s old dresses) shocked Jocasta, who asked if Claire was a Quaker, as only Quakers were known to hold such views. Claire covered well enough by claiming that she’d picked up her attitude toward slavery after treating some Quakers.

The stakes got even higher when Jocasta used a party that celebrated Jamie, Claire, and Young Ian’s arrival to announce that she was naming Jamie as her heir to River Run, which she just so happened to do without consulting Jamie. Claire made it clear to Jamie that she could not own slaves, so Jamie suggested that they free the River Run slaves to do their small part to make the world better.

Unfortunately, Jamie soon learned courtesy of another slaveowner by the name of Andrew MacNeil that freeing slaves wasn’t as simple as just declaring them free and then paying them a fair wage. An owner had to prove via petition that a slave had done something like save his or her life, and a hefty fee was involved for freeing slaves. Furious, MacNeil told Jamie that there was danger to their idea of freeing slaves.

Freeing slaves could mean trouble for slaveholders en masse in the area, and they wouldn’t take kindly to Jamie’s actions. According to MacNeil, others came forward with similar ideas (and ideals) in the past, and they disappeared. Jamie was not to be discouraged, but they didn’t get much further into the discussion. News came of trouble at the River Run sawmill, where a slave had cut off the ear of a white man.

Jamie and Claire raced to the scene, with Jamie as Jocasta’s representative and Claire as healer intent on trying to reattach the man’s ear. When they arrived, however, they discovered the newly de-eared man and his friends hoisting a slave by the name of Rufus up by a hook that was embedded in his abdomen.

Horrified, Jamie pulled a pair of pistols and demanded that the men stop hanging Rufus on the hook, and Claire decided it was more important to get Rufus back to River Run for treatment than to reattach anybody’s ear. More than one person made the point to the Frasers that the law was not on Rufus’ side, as any slave who attacked and drew the blood of a white man was to be hanged. The local plantation owners and other white men did not take well to the Frasers’ action.

Claire did everything in her power to save Rufus, and she succeeded in removing the hook, putting him on the road to recovery. He woke up long enough to share the heartbreaking story of how he became a slave when he was kidnapped from Africa and separated from his beloved sister. All signs seemed to point toward Rufus having the physical fortitude to survive… but he did not have the lot in life to be allowed to do it by the slaveholders.

The other white men in the area formed an angry mob and stormed toward River Run, and Jocasta had no choice but to stand outside her own house and stall for time until Jamie produced Rufus. He only had until midnight, at which point Rufus would apparently be horribly tortured rather than just simply hanged now. Jamie went to Claire, and he shot down her suggestion that they protect Rufus and say he ran away.

Jamie revealed that the slaves who worked with Rufus would be punished for what he had done if he ran. There was no good choice, and he made a suggestion that appalled Claire and explains the title of the episode. He asked if she could perhaps ease Rufus on his way, as she had previously done for Colum. Claire was repulsed at the prospect of ending the life of somebody she was capable of saving, and her oath to do no harm was clearly on her mind.

With rocks flying through windows and a torch-wielding mob screaming for blood outside, however, Claire’s 20th century oath was far from the top priority. She made Rufus a tea that she laced with a poison and gave it to him, telling him that it would help him sleep. Weeping, she talked with him as he began to shut down, and he finally asked if she thought he would ever see his sister again. She said he would, and he died.

After Rufus was dead, Jamie took him out of the house to the angry mob waiting outside. Not dissuaded by his death, the men lynched his corpse, hauling his body high up into a tree and leaving him there. Jocasta, Jamie, Claire, Ulysses, and many other slaves had to watch as the awful thing happened.

Claire likely won’t soon forget the men and system that forced her to kill a man out of mercy despite her oath to do no harm, and the death of Rufus likely means the Frasers won’t be staying at River Run for too long. We’ve known for a while that Season 4 wasn’t going to take place entirely at Jocasta’s plantation, and Claire is going to want far from slavery as soon as possible. They may leave River Run sooner than some viewers expected.

The Frasers do have some obstacles in their way when it comes to leaving River Run. Stephen Bonnet’s attack (and the change from the book that will impact a huge plot twist later on) left them without any money or gems to sell, and Jocasta may not be inclined to supply them to leave River Run behind when she clearly intends Jamie to run her plantation.

Who knows? Maybe the ordeal with Rufus and Claire’s distaste for River Run with all its slaves will bring Jocasta around to the idea of them leaving a little easier. Maybe Young Ian needs to continue bringing a sprayed-by-skunk Rollo into the house for Jocasta to want them gone! We’ll have to wait and see. New episodes of Outlander air on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.

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2018 People’s Choice Awards: The Best Red Carpet Looks

End-of-year award shows are a doozy—suddenly, you remember that Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s 8, A Quiet Place, and Love, Simon are all movies that came out in 2018. They’re also all up for trophies at the 2018 People’s Choice Awards tonight, as are This Is Us, Riverdale, and a bunch of your favorite television shows; plus artists like Rita Ora and Ariana Grande. The People’s Choice Awards are an all-encompassing show—there are also categories for style, beauty, podcasting, and even animals—which means a lot of your favorites, from all different fields or platforms, will be rubbing shoulders on the red carpet. That makes for some interesting photo opps, and some spectacular fashion moments: from Busy Philipps in Christian Siriano to Camila Mendes in Etro.

So, while you reflect on—or maybe try to take stock of—all the entertainment you consumed in 2018, catch up on the best looks from the 2018 People’s Choice Awards, ahead.

2018 People’s Choice Awards: 14 Looks From the Red Carpet You Can’t Miss

End-of-year award shows are a doozy—suddenly, you remember that Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s 8, A Quiet Place, and Love, Simon are all movies that came out in 2018. They’re also all up for trophies at the 2018 People’s Choice Awards tonight, as are This Is Us, Riverdale, and a bunch of your favorite television shows; plus artists like Rita Ora and Ariana Grande. The People’s Choice Awards are an all-encompassing show—there are also categories for style, beauty, podcasting, and even animals—which means a lot of your favorites, from all different fields or platforms, will be rubbing shoulders on the red carpet. That makes for some interesting photo opps, and some spectacular fashion moments: from Busy Philipps in Christian Siriano to Camila Mendes in Etro.

So, while you reflect on—or maybe try to take stock of—all the entertainment you consumed in 2018, catch up on the best looks from the 2018 People’s Choice Awards, ahead.

How The Flash’s Rag Doll May Change Things Up For The West-Allens

The Flash has teased rough waters ahead for Barry and Team Flash, with the bendable new villain Rag Doll set to cause problems in “All Doll’d Up.” Actor Troy James’ contortionist character may impact the West-Allen family in a potentially permanent way. Speaking with CinemaBlend, James says Rag Doll’s Barry-napping will change things up for the super-family.

It’s interesting in the sense that when you find out what Rag Doll is trying to do, and how he gets involved with the West-Allen family. You know that Barry gets kidnapped, and Iris has to step up to save the day. I think it will be really interesting seeing how that affects the family dynamic going forward in the show.

As has been the case before, Iris will have to step up and save Barry from almost certain doom. The role reversal will seemingly put Iris back in the face of danger, and recent preview footage depicts Iris ready to face Rag Doll with Ralph at her side. How Barry will react to that is anyone’s guess, although we can assume The Flash isn’t going to be too upset that his wife steps in to save him from his flexible and frenzied foe.

Perhaps the answer lies in other family ties beyond Barry and Iris’. Troy James teased that Rag Doll’s behavior could be a result of his upbringing, revealing viewers will learn more about this combination variation of The Flash villain, and the origins that inevitably lead to his situation in his Arrow-verse debut.

Rag Doll has a whole bunch of family issues, and you get to see that in the episode as well. I think you’ll find out why he is the way he is.

Troy James shared with CinemaBlend that the Arrow-verse version of Rag Doll will be a blending of the two portrayed in DC Comics. Specifically, Rag Doll will have the natural flexibility of OG Rag Doll Peter Merkel, but also the sadistic nature of his son Peter Merkel Jr. The more twisted nature of James’ live-action villain could be the result of past family trauma(s), which could have both Barry and Iris looking inward at their own parenting decisions.

Now, Iris’s mothering skills probably won’t turn out to be as bad as Rag Doll’s parents’ presumably were, but maybe the encounter will give her a bit of perspective on how heavily her and Barry’s behavior impacts their future-daughter After all, Iris allegedly choosing to dampen Nora’s powers in the future does some extensive damage to their relationship, and no amount of apologizing seems to be fixing it.

If Rag Doll is as chaotic as we hope, his actions might just be enough to convince Iris to avoid dampening Nora’s powers. If that happens, it could totally alter Nora’s timeline, which means just about everyone’s timeline would be different.

That’s just speculation, however. Promos for The Flash‘s upcoming episode do not feature Nora. We’re not sure what the future speedster’s up to during this quest to save Barry, but I’d find it surprising if she were unavailable to help daddy dearest in his time of need. Perhaps the reason she’s not involved is due to her ineffective collaborations with Iris, which would itself play into the over-arching theme of how Rag Doll may effect the West-Allens.

Troy James couldn’t reveal all the secrets of The Flash‘s episode ahead of its premiere, but told CinemaBlend he was more than thrilled to be on The CW series. The actor has found much of his work in genre series over the years, and achieved new heights of fame in 2018 for showcasing his insane flexibility on America’s Got Talent. James wasn’t sure if The Flash casting team saw his viral video, but did have his suspicions, since the turnaround time on his casting was as fast as Barry.

I’m pretty sure that the powers that be in casting saw my America’s Got Talent video. Because when I sent them my tape, the turnaround was within the hour. I sent them my demo tape, and then an hour later, they called back and said ‘How quickly can you make it to Vancouver for The Flash?’

Now also known for his stellar work in Channel Zero: The Dream Door as Pretzel Jack, and as a Mongrel on The Strain, Troy James is becoming a no-brainer choice for physically unique antagonists who are creepy as hell. Since The Flash doesn’t get too spooky all that often, CinemaBlend’s Nick Venable asked the actor if his experience on the Flash set saw him trying to get a frightening rise out of his temporary co-stars. He said this:

It’s funny, because I wanted to, but at the same time, I was very well aware that we were on the set of a superhero show, a really popular superhero show. And probably I’m like a guest star, and I don’t want to cause any mischief. I don’t want to get in trouble. [laughs] I kept feeling like, ‘What the heck am I doing on the set of The Flash with all of these really awesome people?’ But we did get into some behind-the-scenes mischief. I have some cool pictures I’d like to show everyone when the episode airs.

Troy James has already posted a couple behind the scenes photos to his Instagram, and that statement would indicate more are on the way when “All Doll’d Up” actually airs. In the meantime, fans can only guess how he used his unique bending abilities to amaze his Flash co-stars when the cameras weren’t rolling. It wouldn’t take much, as his America’s Got Talent video is still more than enough to cause a person’s jaw to drop to the floor.

People have also experienced some jaw-dropping at the expense of Troy James’ Channel Zero: The Dream Door character Pretzel Jack, who is straight up nightmare fuel for even the bravest of folks. James noted the timing of the two projects created an interesting parallel between the childhood clown and the metahuman psycho.

Both of those happened around the same time, and there are some similarities. Because you know, Pretzel Jack is a killer contortionist clown, and then you have Rag Doll, who kind of does have the clown motif going on there with the white face and, you know, the Raggedy Ann hair. But they are different. Rag Doll talks. [laughs]

Hear Rag Doll talk soon, as The Flash airs on The CW Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what else is happening on television before 2018’s end, be sure to visit and bookmark our handy fall premiere guide.

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Michelle Obama’s Book Tour Has Oprah and Is Coming to an Arena Near You

Booksellers are counting on strong sales for Michelle Obama’s new memoir, ‘Becoming.’
Booksellers are counting on strong sales for Michelle Obama’s new memoir, ‘Becoming.’ Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Any book by a former first lady is a publishing event, but Michelle Obama’s upcoming memoir “Becoming,” out Nov. 13, is being marketed as a major cultural moment: She embarks on a 10-city arena tour across the U.S. starting in Chicago later this month, with special guests including Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon. VIP tickets offering the chance to meet Mrs. Obama cost up to $2,750, commanding even higher prices on resale sites.

The stakes are high. Her publisher, Penguin Random House, made a huge bet on Mrs. Obama and her husband last year when it jointly paid them an advance estimated at about $60 million for two books. It was “the highest advance ever paid in the history of book publishing,” said Thomas Rabe, chief executive of German media giant Bertelsmann SE, which owns 75% of the publishing house.

Booksellers are counting on strong sales. “We expect it to be the biggest book of the season, if not the year,” said Liz Harwell, senior director of merchandising, trade books at Barnes & Noble Inc. Her upbeat forecast reflects what she described as “significant preorders” for the title.

Early indications suggest a keen level of interest in Mrs. Obama’s story.
Early indications suggest a keen level of interest in Mrs. Obama’s story.

Her 426-page memoir, a copy of which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, ranges widely, from her father’s death when he was 55 to the “lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder” she felt for Barack Obama when their romance began. She describes the “funereal” morning after the 2016 presidential election. “I will always wonder about what led so many women, in particular, to reject an exceptionally qualified female candidate and instead choose a misogynist as their president,” she writes of the election. Mrs. Obama writes that she will “never forgive” Donald Trump for having promoted the “birther” movement questioning then-President Obama’s U.S. citizenship, arguing that the accusations could have led to violence against her family. (Mr. Trump later conceded that Mr. Obama was born in the U.S.) She dismisses speculation about her own political future: “I have no intention of running for office, ever. I’ve never been a fan of politics, and my experience over the last ten years has done little to change that.”

Asked Friday if he had a response to Mrs. Obama, Mr. Trump said he hadn’t seen what she wrote. “She got paid a lot of money to write a book,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “And they always insist that you come up with controversial.”

Mrs. Obama has never attempted a book this ambitious. Her one previous book, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America,” has sold a solid 62,000 hardcover copies, according to book tracker NPD BookScan.

For her memoir to meet the high expectations placed on it, the writing must be compelling, industry watchers say. “A memoir is always dependent on authenticity,” said Lorraine Shanley, president of consulting firm Market Partners International. “The voice has to sound like Michelle.”

Penguin Random House’s Crown Publishing is printing 1.8 million hardcover copies for the U.S. and Canada, and an additional 1.2 million hardcover copies for other markets. Only two nonfiction titles published in the U.S. have sold more than 2 million hardcover copies since the start of 2010—Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” and Marie Kondo’s “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”—says NPD BookScan. David Drake, deputy publisher of Crown, declined to discuss the book’s potential revenue or profitability, but said, “We couldn’t be more optimistic.”

One New York publishing executive who asked not to be identified suggested that “Becoming,” which has generated strong foreign rights income, would be “very profitable” if it sells 2 million hardcover copies in the U.S. This person estimated the book could generate as much as $46 million in gross sales in the U.S. across all formats, more revenue than some imprints generate annually. That would go a long way toward recouping the total $60 million advance, which includes an as-yet-untitled memoir from Mr. Obama.

Early indications suggest a keen level of interest in her story. When tickets to the arena appearances went on presale in September, demand was so high that tour organizer Live Nation added two new dates the same day. The tour promotes itself as “an intimate conversation” with the former first lady moderated by celebrity guests, including former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, actress Tracee Ellis Ross and comedian Phoebe Robinson in addition to Ms. Winfrey and Ms. Witherspoon.

Standard tickets range from $29.50 through $179.50. In late October, packages offering extra perks for the Chicago appearance ranged from $2,500 to $2,750. “Demand for tickets to Michelle Obama’s book tour compared to other public speaking events is nearly unparalleled,” said Stephen Spiewak, manager for digital content marketing at Vivid Seats, a ticket resale site.

Mrs. Obama will visit bookstores in the U.S., and some booksellers have been selected to sell books, including previously signed copies, at the arenas where she’s speaking, says Mr. Drake.

She’ll also take the tour abroad, hoping to defy the conventional wisdom that American political memoirs tend not to do well overseas. Before year-end, she’ll visit three major European capitals in support of the memoir.

At a time when audiobooks have become increasingly popular with consumers, Mrs. Obama herself narrated the audiobook edition of “Becoming.” It has already generated more preorders than any audiobook previously published by Penguin Random House, said Mr. Drake.

There’s a proven appetite for Obama-related titles. Former White House photographer Pete Souza’s book “Obama: An Intimate Portrait” went on sale in November 2017 and has since sold more than 500,000 copies in print and digital, according to its publisher, Lagardere SCA’s Little, Brown & Co. Mr. Souza’s latest Obama book, “Shade,” out in October, is a best seller.

Earlier memoirs by such former first ladies as Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton were all national best-sellers. “First Ladies are celebrities, and this is a celebrity-driven society,” said presidential historian Robert Dallek. “There is an endless interest in the presidency and in anything to do with it.”

Write to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at jeffrey.trachtenberg@wsj.com and Ellen Gamerman at ellen.gamerman@wsj.com

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Appeared in the November 12, 2018, print edition as ‘Stakes High for Obama Memoir.’

Viggo Mortensen Apologizes For Using N-Word During Green Book Promotion

Viggo Mortensen has apologized for using the n-word during a panel discussion of his film Green Book. The panel was attended by his co-star Mahershala Ali, who later said he accepted Mortensen’s apology. After Mortensen’s initial comment was met with surprise and criticism, he issued this statement:

As Variety noted, Viggo Mortensen had used the n-word as an example of speech that’s no longer common. The context is tied to his film Green Book, which is set in the Deep South in the 1960s. Mahershala Ali plays Jamaican-American pianist Don Shirley, with Mortensen as a mob enforcer serving as the world class pianist’s security.

No one appears to be questioning Viggo Mortensen’s intention, but he now regrets his choice of words during the ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood screening.

Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly, has had nothing but positive attention up to this point. It was a surprise winner of the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, immediately launching into into Oscars contention.

So while Mahershala Ali is not happy with his co-star’s word choice, he is also not willing to let this moment distract from the film and the intended message. Ali shared his own statement, accepting Viggo Mortensen’s apology, while making it clear the use of the full n-word was “hurtful” and wrong:

Mahershala Ali continued (via Variety) by saying the use of the full n-word within the black community is already debated, and its usage should continue to be examined within the black community.

Mahershala Ali already has an Oscar for Moonlight, and he could win again for Green Book. Viggo Mortensen currently has two Academy Award nominations under his belt for Eastern Promises and Captain Fantastic. Green Book will expand its release in theaters November 21. Here’s the full 2018 fall movie release schedule.

The ‘Glamour’ 2018 Women of the Year Summit: The Best Moments

For the past 28 years, Glamour‘s Women of the Year Awards has honored game changers, rule breakers, and trailblazers. This year’s class of extraordinary females is no exception. The stories of our honorees often start with the same idea: a woman who refuses to wait for someone else to make things better. Alone, or with an army behind her, she decides to act.

To kick off the celebration, Glamour hosted our third annual Women of the Year Live Summit at Spring Studios in New York City—led by comedian Phoebe Robinson—which will be followed by our annual awards ceremony on Monday, November 12. The summit featured sessions with body-positive activist Ashley Graham, Today coanchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, singer-songwriter Halsey, along with many more inspiring women.

Read on for a recap of every unforgettable moment and our panelists’ invaluable wisdom.

Breakfast With Aerie

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

Our Women of the Year Summit kicked off as any great morning should: with breakfast, a lot of coffee, and a pep talk from Aerie global brand president Jennifer Foyle and #AerieREAL model Iskra Lawrence. Lawrence, who’s been at the forefront of the body-positive movement, spoke about the importance of sisterhood and being kind to yourself—and how the brand is making changes to raise women up.

“A few years ago, I started the Mirror Challenge, where instead of looking in the mirror and seeing all the insecurities screaming and shouting at me, I decided I was going to find the things I appreciated about myself,” Lawrence told the crowd. “I either told myself verbally in my head or I wrote it on Post-it notes. So one of the amazing things we implemented in all Aerie stores is having Post-it notes. Changing rooms can be a pretty negative place if you’re not feeling 100 or if something doesn’t fit the way you want it to, or if you’re going through changes in your body, we wanted to create a positive environment.

“So I’m hoping you’ll all start writing your own Post-its,” she continued, inviting women to come up to the stage and leave their own notes for themselves or another “sister” who could use a word of encouragement. Let’s just say what everyone wrote was an example of the day to come.

Opening Remarks With Phoebe Robinson

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

“Hello, my name is Phoebe Robinson, and I am your Nordstrom Rack version of Oprah today.” We’d disagree—our host of the day is nobody’s discount emcee, but we wouldn’t expect the author and comedian to kick things off without a quip. If you follow her on 2 Dope Queens or have read her book “Everything’s Trash, but It’s Okay,” you know Robinson has a way of finding the humor in even the darkest of topics.

To introduce today’s theme “Women Rise,” she touched on the major wins women have had this year—”The midterm elections were the most exciting thing for me. Two Native American women won, a bunch of black women won, hopefully Stacey Abrams will win”—along with the importance of having strong women role models in her own life. “Women have done so much for my career. My mom is a very smart, wonderful, funny woman. She’s where my sense of humor comes from. Writing for magazines like Glamour has been empowering for me. I feel like I’ve learned my biggest lessons from other women. They’ve taught me things like: Stop telling yourself no before other people do. Stop saying sorry. I’m not saying sorry anymore. I’m going to be like a white guy.”

She ended the speech with a call to share stories about the women who have raised you up using the hashtag #GlamourWOTY. “Send me a picture or photo with your mom, girlfriends, you with your gyno if you’re close to each other, cousins, anyone, a moment that shows women rising up together, celebrating each other.”

For more of Robinson’s best quotes from the Summit, click here.

From Anguish to Action How to Lead During Crisis

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

During the first panel of the day, Glamour editor-in-chief Samantha Barry and The Washington Post‘s global opinions editor Karen Attiah discussed what happens—and how do you react—when things go horribly wrong. Barry noted that crisis can come in many forms—it can be personal, it can touch your community, or in the gut-wrenching case of Attiah, it can play out on a global stage. (Attiah was the editor of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was captured and killed because of his work as a reporter.)

“We recruited him about a year ago to write for us,” said Attiah. “He put himself into self-exile. He was critical of the Saudi crown prince in particular. He was someone who really believed in his country, really loved Saudi Arabia, but he just wanted to be free to speak his mind about the country.” Attiah said she’s still trying to cope with the horrific loss. “I still can’t believe he was taken from us and from his family in such a brutal way. It’s not just an attack on journalism; it’s an attack on his family and us at The Washington Post.” The one thing that keeps her—and the team—going, she said, is not a fight against the attacks on journalists, but a fight to tell the truth.

She also discussed President Trump’s dangerous rhetoric surrounding the media and women of color in the media, in particular. (Many were surprised to learn that Khashoggi’s editor was a young woman of color.) “If he’s attacked three black women journalists, we don’t have black women or women of color who are White House correspondents,” said Attiah. “We can’t control Trump, but what the media can control is how seriously we take sending reporters who represent the world around us and represent the demographics trends that the U.S. is going in. Many times my white colleagues don’t have the same grounding or sensibilities. That is a reckoning we should have.”

As for advice for the other women in the room? “Sometimes you feel like tweeting into the void doesn’t always help,” she said. “I think I heard the advice once that to a certain extent journalism or opinion writing can be about anger—about righteous anger. You’re seeing what’s going on, and you’re asking questions. That’s a way of pushing back. At a very basic level, I used to journal. Try to write [your anger] out, to get it out there, and use your creativity to channel what you’re feeling. Sometimes just expressing what you’re going through is a form of creating bonds, solidarity, and activism.”

My Woman Rise Moment: I Listened to That Inner Voice

You might know Yvonne Orji as Issa Rae’s wisecracking best friend, Molly, on HBO’s Insecure. But what you might not know is that her journey to get there was entirely faith-led. Orji emigrated from Nigeria to America when she was six years old and says she never imagined a career in comedy was a even possibility…until God showed her the way one fateful evening in college.

“One night, when I was trying to figure out what was next and needed some clarity, I heard Him say, ‘Do comedy,'” she told the room. “I wasn’t funny. I was like, Nobody laughs at me. Nobody was like, ‘That Yvonne is super funny.’ At that point I was on my way to becoming a doctor. I was stalling because I got my master’s in public health. This is what you do when you’re the child of immigrants—you go to school to avoid going to school. And then after I got my master’s, I was still not ready to be a doctor. I wanted to go to Liberia, which was just finishing a war, because it was easier for me to go to a war-torn country than tell my parents that I wasn’t going to be a doctor.”

On a leap of faith, she made the jump, though, and moved to New York City to pursue comedy, which went about as well as you’d expect. “Pretty soon after I moved to New York, I found myself with zero dollars and zero leads,” she said. “Let me tell you right now: That’s not sexy. OK? Because Sallie Mae wants her money, like all of it.” She continued: “Here I was, 25 years old, with two degrees and not even the $7 to get a slice of pizza. I was like, Was this really the life I risked it all for? I have a family that loves me and cares about me, and I am broke.”

The thing she says turned it all around was the power of saying yes to whatever opportunity came her way. “I said yes to the temp job I hated but allowed me to perform comedy at night,” she said. “I said yes to taking over a stand-up show in New York City. I said yes to a residency in a college production in Richmond, Virginia, that gave me two days to get there. I said yes to being a writer in the writers room for a TV show in L.A.”

Her parting words for the audience? “Inside all of us exists some kind of compass—whether it’s divine or otherwise—but it’s something desperately trying to navigate you and all of us to the life we know we were destined to live. So I think the choice is pretty simple: Keep letting fear sidetrack you or take what you’ve been given, maybe even told from God above, and say yes. But whatever it is, keep going. Keep doing it.”

Read Orji’s full speech here.

Stop Hiding, Start Shining

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

Just a few years ago, it was unheard-of to see anything other than thin, flawless, mostly white models in fashion ads. And models with any kind of visible health condition? Forget about it. Times are changing, though; thanks in part to brands like Aerie, women of all different backgrounds, abilities, and sizes are now being celebrated for who they are. And that’s exactly what our Stop Hiding, Start Shining panel was about.

AerieREAL Role Models Danielle Candray (an alopecia advocate), Gaylyn Henderson (the founder of Gutless and Glamorous), and Evelyn Riddell (a type-1 diabetes advocate) joined Jess Weiner, the CEO of Talk to Jess (an organization about women’s empowerment), to discuss the social stigmas around health conditions and how they’re finally beginning to fade.

“I was only 14 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel autoimmune disease that can affect your entire body,” said Henderson. “Because of the severity of my condition, my doctors told me I needed an ostomy, which meant removing my entire colon. At first I said no way. I thought I was too young—I thought an ostomy was for old people. That it would smell. That it was nasty! And all I could think was I didn’t want to spend my whole life with a bag hanging off of me. But there came a time that I had no choice. I was in constant excruciating pain and getting worse. The disease was killing me.”

She went on to discuss how much better she felt after getting the procedure, and how much it meant to be cast in a global underwear campaign as a model with a colostomy bag (something that was met with much fanfare when her ads launched earlier this year). “I’m an underwear model—it’s incredible!” she said. “I always tell people, ‘You have to do what’s best for you, no matter how it may look to somebody else.’ It’s a process, accepting yourself for all that you are. But being authentic with yourself and sharing your truth is essential. It’s a superpower, and everyone in this room has it.”

Turn a Big Idea Into Bigger Business

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

Here’s a not-so-fun fact for you: For the second year in a row, only 2.2 percent of venture capital funding is going to female-led companies. The women on our business panel—which was moderated by Sutian Dong, partner at Female Founders Fund—fall in that tiny percent and shared with the audience how they were able to defy the odds and launch successful companies with VC support. Audrey Gelman is the founder of The Wing, a women’s coworking space and social club; Tyler Haney is founder and CEO of athleisure line Outdoor Voices; and Jen Rubio is the cofounder of Away luggage, those adorable suitcases you’re seeing all over Instagram.

If you’re looking to start your own brand, here are biggest takeaways you need to know:

Nobody knows your business better than you. “We realized there was no such thing as traditional start-up experience,” said Rubio. “We said, ‘We’re going to build the Warby Parker of luggage,’ but we realized there is no playbook…. You’re going to get a lot of advice from people, but unless your inputs are the same, that advice doesn’t go. So we took a lot of advice and learned to filter through that.”

Don’t get discouraged by the nos. “Being a woman when you’re building a company for a woman is an advantage,” said Haney. “There’s an opportunity for a female to shake up the space and create a brand that is resonating for everyone. What I found is that I got a lot of nos at first because guys didn’t get it. But what worked ahead of time was when I sent things to wives of the investors. That is when I started to get yeses.”

Be really, really sure that you want to do it. “Know there is a lot of crap coming your way,” said Gelman. “It’s part of the job.”

Check out our in-depth recap of the panel here.

My Woman Rise Moment: I Put Myself First

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

It’s hard to believe that 45 years after the Supreme Court decided on Roe v. Wade—making it illegal to restrict access to abortion—we’re still fighting for a woman’s right to have options in her own reproductive health. Glamour‘s editor-in-chief addressed the issue in a speech about how she made the choice to put children on hold for her career.

Her advice to the women in the room: “Be informed, be empowered, and make the choices that are right for you, no matter what anybody else thinks. And when it comes to reproductive freedom, we hope you’ll join Glamour in our fight to make sure your decisions about your sexual health are made by you. The most important thing to us at Glamour is that you get to choose the life you want to live—whether that’s today, tomorrow, or 10 years from now.”

History Is Happening Now. What’s Your Role?

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

“What gets remembered is determined by who is in the room doing the remembering,” Betty Reid Soskin likes to say. The 97-year-old park ranger is one of our Women of the Year honorees, and she’s made it her life’s mission to make sure the stories of underrepresented people are being documented and celebrated. One of her biggest achievements? The Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, where she leads talks about the Rosies and the typically white narrative about the women who served the war effort, but also interweaves her experience as a young black woman in segregated America.

Soskin and moderator Kimberly Drew, an art curator and social media manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discussed how women (and particularly women of color) have to fight to claim a seat at the table—and because of us doing so, we’re seeing history being written in a more inclusive way. “Because I was in the room, albeit as a field rep, I was able to supply so much of the history that—by no means was being ignored by intent—but was rolled over by history,” Soskin told Drew. “I was able to participate in the history of a national park just by being in the room.”

She says that now, at 97, she’s able to look back and know that these periods of chaos are the moments when democracy is being redefined. “It’s in those periods where we can get at the reset buttons,” she said, adding, “Every single day, in every way, by what we do or fail to do, we are creating tomorrow. And just as I helped to create the future that I’m now living in, everyone in this room is creating the future their children are going to live in.”

Even despite the dark history currently being written during the Trump era (like Charlottesville), Soskin says she’s optimistic that Americans will ultimately fight to do what’s right. “The power is in us collectively. We’ve proven that ever since 1776,” she said. “I think that’s where my optimism comes from: having lived long enough to know that it’ll work out.”

Closing the Dream Gap: Showing Girls (and Ourselves) What’s Next

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

If anyone’s qualified to talk about making your dreams come true, it’s three women who have refused to take no for an answer: Mindy Kaling, Hoda Kotb, and Savannah Guthrie. But even the Today cohosts and the Mindy Project star acknowledge it’s easier said than done. Their biggest advice for women looking to build their confidence and make their dreams come true is to put in the hard work. From that, they say, comes the confidence and the courage to think you can achieve anything.

“I always just did the legwork, and it meant I never came to anything unprepared,” Kaling told the crowd. “The only reason I was able to be confident was because I literally couldn’t not be confident with the amount of research and preparation I did.”

Kotb, Guthrie, and Kaling also discussed a conundrum many women face: the balance between being assertive and coming across as “likable.” Kaling told a self-deprecating anecdote about how never being perceived as conventionally attractive by men actually made asking for things easier. “When you are ignored in that way, things like confidence and asking for things in your professional career become a little easier,” she said.

Read our full recap of the Dream Gap panel here.

Let’s Shake It Off: Find Peace in a Plugged-in World

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

After a quick snack break (because, important), Phoebe Robinson announced a surprise VIP gift bag giveaway including goods from L’Oréal Paris, LuMee, Eberjey. Then the audience rose together for a seven-minute stretch sesh led by the women of Stretch*d. The service is essentially the Drybar of stretching, meant to help with injury prevention targeting neck, wrist, and back pain. In other words: If you’re hunched over your computer 24/7, check them out. “If you’re like me, you’re on your phone all day, and I have some friends here who are going to help with the numb thumb,” Robinson said as she introduced the instructors.

For a look at the stretches they recommend, check out Stretch*d’s website here. You definitely won’t be sorry.

Reframing My Reflection: A Master Class in Self-Love

Lili Reinhart has long been an advocate for keeping it real. She’s opened up with Glamour in the past about how her severe acne gave her a form of body dysmorphia. And for the Women of the Summit, the Riverdale star delivered a powerful speech about how social media and paparazzi photos have warped her sense of self.

“I became hyper-aware of my changing body,” she told the crowd of her recent weight gain. “I could see the difference in my shape in photos and wondered if anyone else was noticing. I felt this strange, constant struggle of having to live up to the expectation of the appearance that I had already established to the world.”

The 22-year-old said she wants the conversation around women’s bodies to change—not just for herself but for generations to come. “I think about when I have kids in the future,” Reinhart said. “Will my daughter be self-conscious about gaining weight? Will she feel the need to explain her body or justify it to anyone as it changes? Will she feel that same need that I do now—to apologize to her peers and say ‘My body doesn’t usually look like this’ or ‘I’m just a little heavier than usual right now’? How utterly ridiculous is it that we even think about explaining the nature of our bodies to other people?”

She ended her speech by asking the women in the audience to follow her lead. “Remind yourself that this perfect world you see online or in magazines…in movies and television…are presented to you through many different filters,” she said. “Do not set impossible goals of meeting those fake standards. It’s unrealistic to think that your body or my body will ever look like anyone else’s. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We are all imperfectly beautiful.”

Read her speech in full here.

My Woman Rise Moment: I Brought My Whole Self to Work

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

Rose Stuckey Kirk, the chief corporate social responsibility officer of Verizon, discussed how she brings her heritage and legacy with her to the workplace. “My legacy is the great-grandfather that I never met, born 20 years after slavery,” she told the room. She recounted how she’s spent her time at Verizon making sure she serves the underrepresented “not with gender or race, but with just flat-out badassness that moves me forward.” It’s that knowledge and history, she says, that help her be on her game and do her best when she’s stressed or tired.

Her parting wisdom to the crowd: “You are women who are rising, with a legacy, and a connection, and a heritage that will fundamentally change the world. Fill yourselves up, plant yourselves in that, make your roots deep, and ensure that your vessel and your wagon are always full.”

Yes, You Can: Become an Activist on Your Terms

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

After a former student with an AR-15 killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year, a group of outspoken student activists demanded change. Gun violence needs to end—and they’re not taking no for an answer. They joined with other leaders to organize March for Our Lives.

In a discussion moderated by Glamour senior editor Mattie Kahn, four survivors and activists—Naomi Wadler, Edna Lizbeth Chavez, Samantha Fuentes, and Jaclyn Corin, who are also being honored as Glamour Women of the Year—touched on intersectional activism, female strength, and optimism.

“[Adults] feel like they’re passing the baton to us,” Fuentes said on how adults should talk to young people about these issues. “There’s not enough communication and collaboration between the youth and the people running the country. If there’s no communication, how are we ever going to come to a solution that we can agree upon?” Both groups can learn from each other, she says. By collaborating and teaching each other about their experiences, we can “accomplish great things.”

Added Corin: “If we’re old enough to experience the violence, we’re old enough to talk about it.”

Check out our full recap of the panel here.

Inconvenient Woman

Halsey has never been one to mince words. No matter the topic, whether it’s unequal access to hair products or sexual assault), the singer-songwriter tells it like it is—raw, real, and powerfully.

At the Summit she delivered a gripping poem she wrote, called “Inconvenient Woman,” that has a clear message: Don’t make things easier for others just because it’s expected of you. It’s too powerful to recap in a few sentences, so watch the video above and read the poem in its entirety here.

Survive. Thrive. Repeat.

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

In addition to sponsoring our annual awards, L’Oréal also hosts its own yearly event called Women of Worth, which celebrates ordinary women doing extraordinary things. Glamour‘s books editor Elisabeth Egan was joined by two of L’Oréal’s winners—Lisa C. Williams, founder of Circle of Friends: Celebrating Life, Inc., and Lauren Book, Florida state senator and founder of Lauren’s Kids—to discuss the work they’ve done to raise up and empower young survivors of sexual assault and trafficking.

“What brings me to this stage today is that I saw a photo of a 10-year-old girl—she was handcuffed, she had shackles around her ankles, and she was being charged with the act of prostitution,” said Williams. “Those who had bought, sold, and traded her walked away with impunity, and I was angered by that. I had to do something about that.” And so she did. Williams started an organization to protect survivors of trafficking. “I saw in her a life that could’ve been mine,” she said.

Book, a sexual assault survivor herself, talked about the difficulties of recovering from such a traumatic experience. “The journey from survivor to thriver is not linear,” she said. Book now dedicates her work as a public servant to passing laws that protect survivors. “Sometimes it’s two steps forward, three steps back, and sometimes that’s a difficult thing,” she continued. “But from a legislative perspective, from a policy perspective, we’ve been able to tell stories to the bodies that be to help make substantive change to help survivors.”

Read more about Women of Worth here.

My Woman Rise Moment: I Created My Own Timeline

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

It’s hard to imagine Ann Dowd as anything other than successful. Her chilling performance as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale perfectly captures the horror of what can happen when women uphold—and support—a misogynistic culture. But it really wasn’t all that long ago that Dowd got her big break break, hence the topic of her panel about meeting your goals later in life.

The actress told a story about when she was 30, struggling, and waiting tables in Chicago: She passed by a theater and saw an old classmate’s name on the marquee. “I wept and screamed into the night, ‘When?! When is my turn?’ And it was one of those dark nights of the soul—we’re all familiar, I’m sure. And a voice—I’m not kidding—quiet, probably from the inside, said, ‘It will all be fine. It will all be all right. You will be in your fifties.’

You already know what happened next. Now, at 62, Dowd is now the proud owner of an Emmy, which she earned last year at 61. She told the crowd the most important thing is to find wins in the little things along the way. “Pay attention to where you are,” she said. “Celebrate the small victories. Every time I got a role, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. I didn’t care if I had two lines or if it was a Broadway opening…I thought, Oh my gosh, someone said yes.”

Read her full speech here.

The Collective Power of the Sister Army

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images

It took more than 300 women to bring down former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, but these survivors banded together to seek justice. It’s because of their courage that the way we talk about sexual assault and abuse in this country has changed. Glamour executive editor Wendy Naugle sat down with four women involved in Nassar’s conviction—lieutenant Andrea Munford, the detective who led the investigation; Angela Povilaitis, who led the prosecution as an assistant attorney general; Rachael Denhollander, the first survivor to publicly accuse Nassar of assault; and Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who presided over the case—to discuss the historic trial.

One of the most powerful moments came during a discussion of how the criminal justice system is failing survivors. The fact that women still aren’t believed or bear the burden of recounting traumatic experiences in a hostile court is harmful, the group said. Povilaitis posed this question to the audience: “If your friend came forward, how would you think about it? Start by believing and supporting that victim with their choices…. These cases for decades have been treated with some skepticism. When a woman comes forward, [it’s often said] she must have some motive to lie, or something to gain—and quite frankly, as we’ve seen in the last few months with Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford’s testimony, there’s so much to lose by coming forward with your story, and no guarantees.”

For other highlights from the panel, click here.

Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

Alexa Von Tobel, founder and CEO of the financial planning company LearnVest, knows a thing or two about mentorship. After getting a degree from Harvard in happiness—yes, happiness—she worked at a start-up that would go on to be acquired by Facebook. Following that, she discovered a new passion for helping women learn how to invest. But it wasn’t without help along the way.

“I deeply believe in paying it forward to everyone in this room,” she said. Part of that means teaching women how to find people who will help them grow professionally. For Von Tobel, “it was through meetings and coffees and finding people who care for me” that she was able to pursue her goals. She specifically sought out a mentor for every single decade of age—even someone in their eighties. “Having those different perspectives around me made me think differently,” she said.

Her advice to the audience: Expand your network and give as much as you get back. “You’re only as good as you can scale,” she said.

Speak Your Truth in the Era of Outrage

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

“We’re here to talk about anger”—those are the words Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her, used to bluntly kick off this panel. It might sound like a downer of a topic, but if anyone can bring a bright side to the fury women have felt in 2018, it’s both she and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, author of Small Fry. The two have made a career of taking women’s rage and distilling it into actionable, and often humorous, advice.

“You and I both describe anger as explosive and visible, but that’s a really bad management of anger,” Chemaly said, describing what happens when you bottle in your frustration. “By the time someone has had that experience, it actually means they haven’t been dealing with the anger very well. It tips over into this.” It’s not that women need to be in more control of our anger, she says, it’s that we need less control of it. “We are expected to be managing [our anger] in a controlled way 24/7. We are socialized to put other people first…. That happens at a great expense to us and our health.”

The two argued that this pressure to be “held together” is destructive, and fighting the injustices of our world is form of self-care. “The idea that self-care is getting a manicure and spending money is really kind of corrupting in many ways,” said Chemaly. “Writing the book for me was a political act. It made me feel better.”

The Art of Self-Acceptance

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

Pamela Adlon, who created and stars in FX’s hit series Better Things, gave an impassioned speech about how to achieve true self-acceptance. The 52-year-old says she found it when she stopped comparing herself with others.

“I gained muscles I never knew I could have,” she said. “Never knew were in me. And when that happened, everything changed. In one word: confidence.” Adlon says taking yourself out of your comfort zone is another way to grow. “Change feet, shake the cocktail—it’s always worth it,” she said.

Read her full speech here.

The Benefits of Being an Outlier

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

For a crash course in self-confidence, look no further than model and podcast host Ashley Graham. She’s always been outspoken about claiming her space in fashion and beauty: Whether she’s modeling in unretouched photos or sharing her daily affirmations, she doesn’t hold back on embracing her identity. Graham shared the keys to finding strength in her differences during the last panel of the evening. Joining her was Younger‘s Nico Tortorella, Pose‘s Indya Moore, author and comedian Phoebe Robinson, and Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat. The big takeaway: There’s more power in being an outlier than you may think.

“For so long, we have been demanded to fit into boxes, and we have been told we have to conform,” Graham said. “I’ve been told I have to be the perfect shape or the perfect size for sample sizes.” But, she said, speaking up for, and celebrating, her differences unlocked a new level to her career. “When I had to make my own terms, that’s when I finally became successful.”

Read our full recap of the panel here.

Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit: The Best Moments

For the past 28 years, Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards has honored game changers, rule breakers, and trailblazers. This year’s class of extraordinary females is no exception. The stories of our honorees often start with the same idea: a woman who refuses to wait for someone else to make things better. Alone, or with an army behind her, she decides to act.

To kick off the celebration, Glamour is hosting our third annual Women of the Year Live Summit at Spring Studios in New York City—led by comedian Phoebe Robinson—followed by our annual awards ceremony on Monday, November 12. The summit will feature sessions with body-positive activist Ashley Graham, Today co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, singer-songwriter Halsey, along with many more inspiring women.

Read on for a recap of every unforgettable moment and our panelists’ invaluable wisdom.

Breakfast With Aerie

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

Our Women of the Year Summit kicked off as any great morning should: with breakfast, a lot of coffee, and a pep talk from Aerie global brand president Jennifer Foyle and #AerieREAL model Iskra Lawrence. The model, who’s been at the forefront of the body positive movement, spoke about the importance of sisterhood and being kind to yourself—and how the brand is making changes to raise women up.

“A few years ago, I started the Mirror Challenge, where instead of looking in the mirror and seeing all the insecurities screaming and shouting at me, I decided I was going to find the things I appreciated about myself,” Lawrence told the crowd. “I either told myself verbally in my head or I wrote it on Post-It notes. So one of the amazing things we implemented in all Aerie stores is having Post-It notes. Changing rooms can be a pretty negative place if you’re not feeling one-hundred or if something doesn’t fit the way you want it to, or if you’re going through changes in your body, we wanted to create a positive environment.”

“So I’m hoping you’ll all start writing your own Post-Its,” she continued, inviting women to come up to the stage and leave their own notes for themselves or another “sister” who could use a word of encouragement. Let’s just say what everyone wrote is surely an example of what’s to come today.

Opening Remarks With Phoebe Robinson

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

“Hello, my name is Phoebe Robinson, and I am your Nordstrom Rack version of Oprah today.” We’d disagree—our host of the day is nobody’s discount emcee, but we wouldn’t expect the author and comedian to kick things off any other way. If you follow her on 2 Dope Queens or have read her book “Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay,” you know Robinson has a way of finding the humor in even the darkest of topics.

To introduce today’s theme “Women Rise,” she touched on the major wins women have had this year—”The midterm elections were the most exciting thing for me. Two native American women won, a bunch of black women won, hopefully Stacey Abrams will win”—along with the importance of having strong women role models in her own life. “Women have done so much for my career. My mom is a very smart, wonderful, funny woman. She’s where my sense of humor comes from. Writing for magazines like Glamour has been empowering for me. I feel like I’ve learned my biggest lessons from other women. They’ve taught me things like stop telling yourself no before other people do. Stop saying sorry. I’m not saying sorry anymore. I’m going to be like a white guy.”

She ended the speech with a call to share stories about the women who have raised you up using the hashtag #GlamourWOTY. “Send me a picture or photo with your mom, girlfriends, you with your gyno if you’re close to each other, cousins, anyone, a moment that shows women rising up together, celebrating each other.”

For more of Robinson’s best quotes from the Summit, click here.

From Anguish to Action How to Lead During Crisis

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

During the first panel of the day, Glamour Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry and The Washington Post‘s Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah discussed what happens—and how do you react—when things go horribly wrong. Barry noted that crisis can come in many forms—it can be personal, it can touch your community, or in the gut-wrenching case of Attiah, it can play out on a global stage. Attiah was the editor of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was captured and killed because of his work as a reporter.

“We recruited him about a year ago to write for us,” said Attiah. “He put himself into self-exile. He was critical of the Saudi Crown Prince in particular. He was someone who really believed in his country, really loved Saudi Arabia, but he just wanted to be free to speak his mind about the country.” Attiah said she’s still trying to cope with the horrific loss. “I still can’t believe he was taken from us and from his family in such a brutal way. It’s not just an attack on journalism, it’s an attack on The Washington Post.” The one thing that keeps her—and the team—going, she said, is not a fight against the attacks on journalists, but a fight to tell the truth.

She also discussed President Trump’s dangerous rhetoric surrounding the media, and women of color in the media in particular. (Many were surprised to learn that Khashoggi’s editor was a young woman of color.) “If he’s attacked three black women journalists, we don’t have black women or women of color who are White House correspondents,” said Attiah. “We can’t control Trump, but what the media can control is how seriously we take sending reporters who represent the world around us and represent the demographics trends that the U.S. is going in. Many times my white colleagues don’t have the same grounding or sensibilities. That is a reckoning we should have.”

As for advice for the other women in the room? “Sometimes you feel like Tweeting into the void doesn’t always help,” she said. “I think I heard the advice once that to a certain extent journalism or opinion writing can be about anger—about righteous anger. You’re seeing what’s going on, and you’re asking questions. That’s a way of pushing back. At a very basic level, I used to journal. Try to write [your anger] out, to get it out there, and use your creativity to channel what you’re feeling. Sometimes just expressing what you’re going through is a form of creating bonds, solidarity, and activism.”

My Woman Rise Moment: I Listened to That Inner Voice

You might know Yvonne Orji as Issa Rae’s wisecracking best friend, Molly, on HBO’s Insecure. But what you might not know is that her journey to get there was entirely faith led. Orji emigrated from Nigeria to America when she was six years old, and says she never imagined a career in comedy was a even possibility…until God showed her the way one fateful evening in college.

“One night, when I was trying to figure out what was next and needed some clarity, I heard Him say, “Do comedy,” she told the room. “I wasn’t funny. I was like, nobody laughs at me. Nobody was like, ‘That Yvonne is SUPER funny.’ At that point, I was on my way to becoming a doctor. I was stalling because I got my masters in public health. This is what you do when you’re the child of immigrants—you go to school to avoid going to school. And then after I got my masters, I was still not ready to be a doctor. I wanted to go to Liberia, which was just finishing a war, because it was easier for me to go to a war-torn country than tell my parents that I wasn’t going to be a doctor.”

On a leap of faith, she made the jump though and moved to New York City to pursue comedy, which went about as well as you’d expect. “Pretty soon after I moved to New York, I found myself with zero dollars and zero leads,” she said. “Let me tell you right now: That’s not sexy. OK? Because Sallie Mae wants her money, like all of it.” She continued: “Here I was, 25 years old, with two degrees, and not even the $7 to get a slice of pizza. I was like, was this really the life I risked it all for? I have a family that loves me and cares about me, and I am broke.”

The thing she says turned it all around was the power of saying yes to whatever opportunity came her way. “I said yes to the temp job I hated but allowed me to perform comedy at night,” she said. “I said yes to taking over a stand-up show in New York City. I said yes to a residency in a college production in Richmond, Virginia, that gave me two days to get there. I said yes to being a writer in the writers room for a TV show in L.A.”

Her parting words for the audience? “Inside all of us exists some kind of compass—whether it’s divine or otherwise—but it’s something desperately trying to navigate you and all of us to the life we know we were destined to live. So I think the choice is pretty simple: Keep letting fear sidetrack you or take what you’ve been given, maybe even told from God above, and say yes. But whatever it is, keep going. Keep doing it.”

Read Orji’s full speech here.

Stop Hiding, Start Shining

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

Just a few years ago, it was unheard of to see anything other than thin, flawless, mostly white models in fashion ads. And models with any kind of visible health condition? Forget about it. Times are changing, though, and in part thanks to brands like Aerie, women of all different backgrounds, abilities, and sizes are now being celebrated for who they are. And that’s exactly what our Stop Hiding, Start Shining panel was about.

AerieREAL Role Models Danielle Candray (an alopecia advocate), Gaylyn Henderson (the founder of Gutless and Glamorous), and Evelyn Riddell (a type-1 diabetes advocate) joined Jess Weiner, the CEO of Talk To Jess (an organization about women’s empowerment), to discuss the social stigmas around health conditions and how they’re finally beginning to fade.

“I was only 14 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel autoimmune disease that can affect your entire body,” said Henderson. “Because of the severity of my condition my doctors told me I needed an ostomy—which meant removing my entire colon. At first, I said no way. I thought I was too young—I thought an ostomy was for old people. That it would smell. That it was nasty! And all I could think was I didn’t want to spend my whole life with a bag hanging off of me. But there came a time that I had no choice. I was in constant excruciating pain and getting worse. The disease was killing me.”

She went on to discuss how much better she felt after getting the procedure, and how much it meant to be cast in a global underwear campaign as a model with a colostomy bag. (Something that was met with much fanfare when her ads launched earlier this year.) “I’m an underwear model—it’s incredible!” she said. “I always tell people, ‘You have to do what’s best for you, no matter how it may look to somebody else.’ It’s a process, accepting yourself for all that you are. But being authentic with yourself and sharing your truth is essential. It’s a superpower, and everyone in this room has it.”

Turn a Big Idea Into Bigger Business

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

Here’s a not-so-fun fact for you: For the second year in a row, only 2.2 percent of venture capital funding is going to female-led companies. The women on our business panel—which was moderated by Sutian Dong, partner at Female Founders Fund—fall in that tiny percent and shared with the audience how they were able to defy the odds and launch successful companies with VC support. Audrey Gelman is the founder of The Wing, a women’s co-working space and social club; Tyler Haney is founder and CEO of athleisure line Outdoor Voices; and Jen Rubio is the co-founder of Away luggage, those adorable suitcases you’re seeing all over Instagram.

If you’re looking to start your own brand, here are biggest takeaways you need to know:

Nobody knows your business better than you. “We realized there was no such thing as traditional start-up experience,” said Rubio. “We said we’re going to build the Warby Parker of luggage, but we realized there is no play book … You’re going to get a lot of advice from people, but unless your inputs are the same, that advice doesn’t go. So we took a lot of advice and learned to filter through that.”

Don’t get discouraged by the no’s. “Being a woman when you’re building a company for a woman is an advantage,” said Haney. “There’s an opportunity for a female to shake up the space and create a brand that is resonating for everyone. What I found is that I got a lot of nos at first because guys didn’t get it. But what worked ahead of time was when I sent things to wives of the investors. That is when I started to get yeses.”

Be really, really sure that you want to do it. “Know there is a lot of crap coming your way,” said Gelman. “It’s part of the job.”

Check out our in-depth recap of the panel here.

My Woman Rise Moment: I Put Myself First

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

It’s hard to believe that 45 years after the Supreme Court decided on Roe v. Wade—making it illegal to restrict access to abortion—we’re still fighting for a woman’s right to have options about her own reproductive health. Glamour’s editor-in-chief addressed the issue in a speech about how she made the choice to put children on hold for her career.

Her advice to the women in the room: “Be informed, be empowered, and make the choices that are right for you, no matter what anybody else thinks. And when it comes to reproductive freedom, we hope you’ll join Glamour in our fight to make sure your decisions about your sexual health are made by you. The most important thing to us at Glamour is that you get to choose the life you want to live—whether that’s today, tomorrow, or ten years from now.”

History Is Happening Now. What’s Your Role?

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

“What gets remembered is determined by who is in the room doing the remembering,” Betty Reid Soskin likes to say. The 97-year-old park ranger is one of our Women of the Year honorees, and she’s made it her life’s mission to make sure the stories of underrepresented people are being documented and celebrated. One of her biggest achievements? The Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, where she leads talks about the Rosies and the typically white narrative about the women who served the war effort, but also interweaves her experience as a young black woman in segregated America.

Soskin and moderator Kimberly Drew, an art curator and social media manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discussed how women (and particularly women of color) have to fight claim a seat at the table—and because of us doing so, we’re seeing our history being written in a more inclusive way. “Because I was in the room, albeit as a field rep, I was able to supply so much of the history that—by no means was being ignored by intent—but was rolled over by history,” Soskin told Drew. “I was able to participate in the history of a national park just by being in the room.”

She says that now, at 97, she’s able to look back and know that these periods of chaos are the moments when democracy is being redefined. “It’s in those periods where we can get at the reset buttons,” she said, adding, “Every single day, in every way, by what we do or fail to do, we are creating tomorrow. And just as I helped to create the future that I’m now live in, everyone in this room is creating the future their children are going to live in.”

Even despite the dark history currently being written during the Trump era (like Charlottesville), Soskin says she’s optimistic that Americans will ultimately fight to do what’s right. “The power is in us collectively. We’ve proven that ever since 1776,” she said. “I think that’s where my optimism comes from: Having lived long enough to know that it’ll work out.”

Closing the Dream Gap: Showing Girls (and Ourselves) What’s Next

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

If anyone’s qualified to talk about making your dreams come true, it’s three women who have refused to take no for an answer: Mindy Kaling, Hoda Kotb, and Savannah Guthrie. But even the Today co-hosts and * The Mindy Project* star acknowledged it’s easier said than done. Their biggest advice for women looking to build their confidence and make their dreams come true is to put in the hard work. From that, they say, comes the confidence and the courage to think you can achieve anything.

“I always just did the leg work, and it meant I never came to anything unprepared,” Kaling told the crowd. “The only reason I was able to be confident was because I literally couldn’t not be confident with the amount of research and preparation I did.”

Kotb, Guthrie, and Kaling also discussed a conundrum many women face: the balance between being assertive and coming across as “likable.” Kaling told a self-deprecating anecdote about how never being perceived as conventionally attractive by men actually made asking for things easier. “When you are ignored in that way, things like confidence and asking for things in your professional career become a little easier,” she said.

Read our full recap of the Dream Gap panel here.

Let’s Shake It Off: Find Peace in a Plugged-in World

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

After a quick snack break (because, important), Phoebe Robinson announced a surprise VIP gift bag giveaway including goods from L’Oréal Paris, LuMee, Eberjey. Then the audience rose together for a seven-minute stretch sesh led by the women of Stretch*d. The service is essentially the Drybar of stretching, meant to help with injury prevention targeted around neck, wrist, and back pain. In other words: If you’re hunched over your computer 24/7, check them out. “If you’re like me, you’re on your phone all day, and I have some friends here who are going to help with the numb thumb,” Robinson said as she introduced the instructors.

For a look at the stretches they recommend, check out Stretch*d’s website here. You definitely won’t be sorry.

Reframing My Reflection: A Master Class in Self-Love

Lili Reinhart has long been an advocate for keeping it real. She’s opened up with Glamour in the past about how her severe acne gave her a form of body dysmorphia. And for the Women of the Summit, the Riverdale star delivered a powerful speech about how social media and paparazzi photos have warped her sense of self.

“I became hyper-aware of my changing body,” she told the crowd of her recent weight gain. “I could see the difference in my shape in photos and wondered if anyone else was noticing. I felt this strange, constant struggle of having to live up to the expectation of the appearance that I had already established to the world.”

The 22-year-old said she wants the conversation around women’s bodies to change—not just for herself, but for generations to come. “I think about when I have kids in the future,” Reinhart said. “Will my daughter be self-conscious about gaining weight? Will she feel the need to explain her body or justify it to anyone as it changes? Will she feel that same need that I do now—to apologize to her peers and say ‘My body doesn’t usually look like this,’ or ‘I’m just a little heavier than usual right now?’ How utterly ridiculous is it that we even think about explaining the nature of our bodies to other people?”

She ended her speech asking the women in the audience to follow her lead. “Remind yourself that this perfect world you see online or in magazines… in movies and television… are presented to you through many different filters,” she said. “Do not set impossible goals of meeting those fake standards. It’s unrealistic to think that your body or my body will ever look like anyone else’s. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We are all imperfectly beautiful.”

Read her speech in full here.

My Woman Rise Moment: I Brought My Whole Self to Work

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

Rose Stuckey Kirk, the chief corporate social responsibility officer of Verizon, discussed how she brings her heritage and legacy with her to the workplace. “My legacy is the great-grandfather that I never met, born 20 years after slavery,” she told the room. She recounted how she’s spent her time at Verizon making sure she serves the underrepresented “not with gender or race, but with just flat out badassness that moves me forward.” It’s that knowledge and history, she says, that help her be on her game and do her best when she’s stressed or tired.

Her parting wisdom to the crowd: “You are women who are rising, with a legacy, and a connection, and a heritage that will fundamentally change the world. Fill yourselves up, plant yourselves in that, make your roots deep and ensure that your vessel and your wagon are always full.”

Yes, You Can: Become an Activist on Your Terms

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

After a former student with an AR-15 killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year, a group of outspoken student activists demanded change. Gun violence needs to end—and they’re not taking no for an answer. They joined with other leaders to organize March for Our Lives.

In a discussion moderated by Glamour senior editor Mattie Kahn, four survivors and activists—Naomi Wadler, Edna Lizbeth Chavez, Samantha Fuentes, and Jaclyn Corin, who are also being honored as Glamour Women of the Year—touched on intersectional activism, female strength, and optimism.

“[Adults] feel like they’re passing the baton to us,” Fuentes said on how adults should talk to young people about these issues. “There’s not enough communication and collaboration between the youth and the people running the country. If there’s no communication, how are we ever going to come to a solution that we can agree upon?” Both groups can learn from each other, she says. By collaborating and teaching each other about their experiences, we can “accomplish great things.”

Added Corin: “If we’re old enough to experience the violence, we’re old enough to talk about it.”

Check out our full recap of the panel here.

Inconvenient Woman

Halsey has never been one to mince words. No matter the topic, whether about unequal access to hair products, the singer-songwriter tells it like it is—raw, real, and powerfully.

At the Summit, she delivered a gripping poem she wrote herself, called Inconvenient Woman, that has a clear message: Don’t make things easier for others just because it’s expected of you. It’s too powerful to recap in a few sentences, so watch the video above and read the poem in its entirety here.

Survive. Thrive. Repeat.

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

Like our annual awards, L’Oréal also hosts its own yearly event called Women of Worth, which celebrates ordinary women doing extraordinary things. Glamour’s books editor Elisabeth Egan was joined by two of L’Oréal’s winners—Lisa C. Williams, founder of Circle of Friends: Celebrating Life, Inc. and Lauren Book, Florida state senator—to discuss the work they’ve done to raise up and empower young survivors of sexual assault and trafficking.

“What brings me to this stage today is that I saw a photo of a 10-year-old girl—she was handcuffed, she had shackles around her ankles, and she was being charged with the act of prostitution,” said Williams. “Those who had bought, sold, and traded her walked away with impunity and I was angered by that. I had to do something about that.” And so she did. Williams started an organization to protect survivors of trafficking. “I saw in her a life that could’ve been mine,” she said.

Book, a sexual assault survivor herself, talked about the difficulties of recovering from such a traumatic experience. “The journey from survivor to thriver is not linear,” she said. Book now dedicates her work as a public servant to passing laws that protect survivors. “Sometimes it’s two steps forward, three steps back, and sometimes that’s a difficult thing,” she continued. “But from a legislative perspective, from a policy perspective, we’ve been able to tell stories to the bodies that be to help make substantive change to help survivors.”

Read more about Women of Worth here.

My Woman Rise Moment: I Created My Own Timeline

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

It’s hard to imagine Ann Dowd as anything other than successful. Her chilling performance as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale perfectly captures the horror of what can happen when women uphold—and support—misogynistic culture. But it really wasn’t all that long ago that Dowd got her big break break; hence the topic of her panel about meeting your goals later in life.

The actress told a story about when she was 30, struggling, and waiting tables in Chicago, she passed by a theater and saw an old classmate’s name on the marquee. “I wept and screamed into the night, ‘When?! When is my turn?’ And it was one of those dark nights of the soul—we’re all familiar, I’m sure. And a voice—I’m not kidding—quiet, probably from the inside, said, ‘It will all be fine. It will all be alright. You will be in your 50s.’

You already know what happened next. Now, at 62, Dowd is now the proud owner of an Emmy, which she earned last year at 61. She told the crowd the most important thing is to find wins in the little things along the way. “Pay attention to where you are,” she said. “Celebrate the small victories. Every time I got a role, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. I didn’t care if I had two lines or if it was a Broadway opening … I thought, Oh my gosh, someone said yes.”

Read her full speech here.

The Collective Power of the Sister Army

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

It took more than 300 women to bring down former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, but these survivors banded together to seek justice. Its because of their courage that the way we talk about sexual assault and abuse in this country has changed. Glamour executive editor Wendy Naugle sat down with four women involved in Nassar’s conviction—Lieutenant Andrea Munford, the detective who led the investigation; Angela Povilaitis, the assistant Attorney General who led the prosecution; Rachael Denhollander, the first survivor to publicly accuse Nassar of assault; and Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who presided over the case—to discuss the historic trial.

One of the most powerful moments came during a discussion of how the criminal justice system is failing survivors. The fact that women still aren’t believed or bear the burden of recounting traumatic experiences in a hostile court is harmful, the group said. Povilaitis posed this question to the audience: “If your friend came forward, how would you think about it? Start by believing and supporting that victim with their choices … These cases for decades have been treated with some skepticism. When a woman comes forward, she must have some motive to lie, or something to gain—and, quite frankly, as we’ve seen in the last few months with Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford’s testimony, there’s so much to lose by coming forward with your story, and no guarantees.”

For other highlights from the panel, click here.

Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

Alexa Von Tobel, founder and CEO of the financial planning company LearnVest, knows a thing or two about mentorship. After getting a degree from Harvard in Happiness—yes, Happiness—she worked at a startup that would go on to be acquired by Facebook. Following that, she discovered a new passion for helping women learn how to invest. But it wasn’t without help along the way.

“I deeply believe in paying it forward to everyone in this room,” she said. Part of that means teaching women how to find people that’ll help them grow professionally. For Von Tobel, “it was through meetings and coffees and finding people who care for me” that she was able to pursue her goals. She specifically sought out a mentor for every single decade—even someone in their 80s. “Having those different perspectives around me made me think differently,” she said.

Her advice to the audience: expand your network and give as much as you get back. “You’re only as good as you can scale,” she said.

Speak Your Truth in the Era of Outrage

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

“We’re here to talk about anger,” Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her, bluntly kicked off the panel with. It might sound like a downer of a topic, but if anyone can bring a bright side to the fury women have felt in 2018, it’s both she and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, author of Small Fry. The two have made a career of taking women’s rage and distilling it into actionable—and often humorous—advice.

“You and I both describe anger as explosive and visible, but that’s a really bad management of anger,” Chemaly said, describing what happens when you bottle in your frustration. “By the time someone has had that experience, it actually means they haven’t been dealing with the anger very well. It tips over into this.” It’s not that women need to be in more control of our anger, she says, it’s that we need less control of it. “We are expected to be managing [our anger] in a controlled way 24/7. We are socialized to put other people first … That happens at a great expense to us and our health.”

The two argued that this pressure to be “held together” is destructive, and fighting the injustices of our world is form of self-care. “The idea that self-care is getting a manicure and spending money is really kind of corrupting in many ways,” said Chemaly. “Writing the book for me was a political act. It made me feel better.”

The Art of Self-Acceptance

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

Pamela Adlon, who created and stars in FX’s hit series Better Things, gave an impassioned speech about how to achieve true self-acceptance. The 52-year-old says she found it when she stopped comparing herself to others.

“I gained muscles I never knew I could have,” she said. “Never knew were in me. And when that happened, everything changed. In one word: confidence.” Adlon says taking yourself out of your comfort zone is another way to grow. “Change feet, shake the cocktail—it’s always worth it,” she said.

Read her full speech here.

The Benefits of Being an Outlier

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz

For a crash course in self-confidence, look no further than model and podcast host Ashley Graham. She’s always been outspoken about claiming her space in fashion and beauty: Whether she’s modeling in unretouched photos or sharing her daily affirmations, she doesn’t hold back on embracing her identity. Graham shared the keys to finding strength in her differences during the last panel of the evening. Joining her was Younger‘s Nico Tortorella, Pose‘s Indya Moore, author and comedian Phoebe Robinson, and Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat. The big takeaway: There’s more power in being an outlier than you may think.

For so long, we have been demanded to fit into boxes and we have been told we have to conform,” Graham said. “I’ve been told I have to be the perfect shape or the perfect size for sample sizes.” But, she said, speaking up for, and celebrating, her differences unlocked a new level to her career. “When I had to make my own terms, that’s when I finally became successful.”

Read our full recap of the panel here.

Why You Should Take Pride in Being an Outlier, According to Ashley Graham

For a crash course in self-confidence, look no further than model and podcast host Ashley Graham. She’s always been outspoken about claiming her space in fashion and beauty: Whether she’s modeling in unretouched photos or sharing her daily affirmations, she doesn’t hold back on embracing her identity.

Graham shared her keys to finding strength in her differences on a panel at the 2018 Glamour Women of the Year Summit that she moderated featuring Younger‘s Nico Tortorella, Pose‘s Indya Moore, author and comedian Phoebe Robinson, and Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat. The big takeaway: There’s more power in being an outlier than you may think.

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images

Ashley Graham, Indya Moore, Nico Tortorella, Alia Shawkat and Phoebe Robinson at Glamour’s WOTY Summit

The group kicked off by talking about the so-called “boxes” that their identities often fill in a creative field, like being a person of color, not conforming to the gender binary, or in Graham’s case, being a size 16. “For so long, we have been demanded to fit into boxes and we have been told we have to conform,” Graham said. “I’ve been told I have to be the perfect shape or the perfect size for sample sizes.” But, she said, speaking up for, and celebrating, her differences unlocked a new level to her career. “When I had to make my own terms, that’s when I finally became successful.”

Moore, who identifies as a gender-variant-femme, said that her gender identity was not accepted while she was growing up. “I had to navigate my existence as being misbehavior my whole life,” she said. But she says that fearlessly celebrating her identity today is the only way to live the life she wants, and to elevate other gender non-conforming folks. It’s a point reiterated by Robinson, who often found herself as the only black woman in a comedy room.”Your life is yours, and you have to go about it your own way,” she said.

Reaching that level of confidence comes from what Graham calls a “defining moment.” For her, that looked like leaning in to her size and accepting jobs where she was the only curve model. “I’ve been the token curve girl and sometimes I think if I say no will they give it to someone else or is that spot completely gone now,” Graham said. Being the first one in the room, even when it’s isolating or checking that “box,” makes room for more women later. “In my eyes, it’s necessary but it shouldn’t be forever,” she said.

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok

Ashley Graham, Indya Moore, Nico Tortorella, Alia Shawkat and Phoebe Robinson at Glamour’s WOTY Summit

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is, the panelists said: You’re worthy of your place in the world. “You are bold, you are brilliant, you are beautiful, and you are loved,” Graham reminded the audience.

Graham first explained in her July 2017 Glamour cover story that it’s the very things that set her apart—and, at one time, that weren’t celebrated in mainstream culture—that make her happiest to be herself. It’s a message that she reiterated on the panel today. “I felt like a token in the beginning [of my career],” she said in her cover story. “But now there are so many curve models—and more opportunities. I feel like a queen [on those jobs] because I’m the only one like me. I’m like, ‘Yes, I’m the curve ruler!'”

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year here.

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