It was a glittering night of girl power on Monday as the best and brightest women from politics, art, social justice and fashion came together for Glamour's Women of the Year Awards.
Now in its 21st year (as the mag's editor-in-chief Cindi Leive said in her introductions, "We're finally legal!"), the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall combined high-profile women with often underrepresented causes, highlighting the amazing work accomplished by females in 2011.
And how amazing it was. Jessica Alba wore a glittering black Tory Burch dress to present to Tory Burch herself (who reminded the audience, "Women are our best investment"); Jennifer Aniston wore black (natch) Versace to introduce Chelsea Handler, about whom she declared, "I am madly in love!"; and December cover girl Jennifer Lopez glowed in Versace when accepting the evening's final honor from Donatella Versace herself.
But celebs aside, the night belonged to the activists and professional change-makers: Gloria Steinem, introduced by Anita Hill; former sex trafficking victim T, introduced by Newark mayor Cory Booker; Laura Bush and daughters Barbara and Jenna, honored by Condoleezza Rice; Gabrielle Giffords, who was honored from afar by Diana Sawyer; and "Facebook Girl" Esraa Abdel Fattah, who accepted praise from Kerry Washington for her pivotal role in kicking off the Arab Spring in Egypt.
And the overall message? If you want it, you can do it. As honoree (and our boss) Arianna Huffington said, when explaining how her life in New York began:
"Then I hit 30 and desperately wanted to have children. The man I’d been with for seven years wanted to have cats. So I did something
that I was terrified to do: I left the man I was deeply in love with and moved from London to New York. And basically everything that's happened in my life -- my children, my books, The Huffington Post, the fact that I'm standing here tonight -- happened because a man wouldn't marry me."
Amen to that. See the impressive array of women (and a few men) in our red carpet slideshow below, and watch the acceptance speech from our own Arianna Huffington.