It could have been Sonia Sotomayor, who went from a Bronx housing project all the way to become the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice and only the third woman Justice ever. She kept her cool under ridiculous charges of racism during her confirmation hearings and singlehandedly changed the landscape of the highest judicial body of the country.
It could have been Salma Hayek, who breast fed a starving baby when she visited Sierra Leone. This sucking heard round the world — spread virally by an incredibly human and touching video — changed people’s opinions about breast milk, which boosts immune systems (particularly important in third world countries).
It could have been Xerox’s Ursula Burns, who in July became the first black woman to head a Fortune 500 company. And, guess what? She started there as an intern!
Instead, one of the 12 Glamour Women of the Year and one of the five corresponding December covers is none other than Rihanna. Rihanna…who was severely beaten by her boyfriend Chris Brown this year. Rihanna…who for nine months remained silent on the issue. Rihanna…who only now is speaking out and (coincidentally?) also has an album dropping this month.
Don’t get me wrong. I think she should speak out and she probably needed some time to physically and emotionally heal before she did. However, Glamour’s signature program claims to celebrate “inspiring women who are changing the world.” So, why didn’t they wait until she opened shelters for victims of domestic abuse, booked high school speaking engagements to raise awareness for the epidemic of violence or embarked on a tour in which all proceeds support victims? Why didn’t they wait until she actually used this horrible tragedy as an opportunity to affect change?
It’s a mystery to me, except the obvious reason that they wanted to strike while the publicity fire was hot — no matter how off-brand the choice.
Here’s Glamour’s full list of 2009 honorees.
What I’d love to know is who you would have chosen in Rihanna’s place.
Posted by: Mariela