Tory Burch and Halima Aden on Embracing Your Ambitition at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit 2019

Since that moment, Aden’s continued to thrive by staying true to herself: “I’m still a small town girl, and I didn’t have to move to New York in order to find success in fashion. I was myself and I did it on my own terms. I’m doing it on my own pace. And that’s where I’m finding success, [by] just being myself.”

Burch added that ambition can have double standards: It’s praised in men and a dirty word for women. “We all need to own ambition, whether it’s being a stay at home mom or being an executive, or however you see it,” Burch said. “When women are criticized for ambition and men are celebrated, that’s a problem.”

Aden’s also invested in making sure that more women come after her—because, she said, a “first” doesn’t matter without a second, third, or fourth. Moving the conversation forward about ambition largely starts with young women, she added. “We are the generation of forward thinkers,” she said. “We’re going to have women who are giving it back to the next generation. There’s this hunger to do something and be active and we are def a generation that speak up and we have opinions to bring to the table.”

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

As for where she’s hoping to go next, Aden shared a big goal onstage: to attend the Met Gala, dressed by Tory Burch. “Ladies if you don’t ask, sometimes you don’t get it…put it out in the universe. Every room that you’re in, don’t be afraid to network.”

Burch and Aden aren’t strangers to ambition—nor success. Tory Burch is an American fashion designer and philanthropist whose entrepreneurship has paved the way for other women to find success in the fashion industry. Burch founded her namesake label in 2004, but has always been one step ahead in the game. In a recent interview with Glamour, she said, “My plan was always to start a global lifestyle brand so that I could start a foundation.”

As her business grew, she introduced the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009 to advance women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship. Recently, she launched an initiative through the Foundation called #EmbraceAmbition.

At 22 years old, Halima Aden is at the forefront of a generation that embraces ambition. In 2016, she was the first contestant to wear a hijab and burkini while competing for Miss Minnesota USA. Two years later, she was the first hijabi woman to be featured on the cover of British Vogue, and earlier this April, she was the first model to wear a hijab and burkini in Sport Illustrated.

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2019 Women of the Year here.

Tory Burch and Halima Aden on Embracing Your Ambitition at the ‘Glamour’ Women of the Year Summit 2019

Ambition used to have a negative connotation, but women are rewriting its definition to embrace the positives of working hard and dreaming big. At the 2019 Glamour Women of the Year Summit on Sunday, November 10, fashion designer and philanthropist Tory Burch and Halima Aden, model and UNICEF ambassador, sat down with Glamour‘s editor in chief Samantha Barry for a panel titled “Repeat After Me: Embrace Your Ambition.” Together, Burch, Aden, and Barry discussed how they’re redefining ambition in their careers.

Burch and Aden opened up during their panel about what ambition means to them and how they got around the obstacles that others tried to put in their way. They also shared some powerful and inspiring pointers on how women can embrace their ambitions.

To kick off the panel, Burch talked about the early stages of her career. When Burch was starting her fashion label and foundation, she didn’t always have support—particularly from men who had the investment capital she was seeking for her business. “There were so many obstacles, it’s hard to say,” Burch said. “When I went to raise money and many of the people that I met with were men and I said I wanted to build a global lifestyle brand so that I could start a foundation, they looked at me and sort of patted me on the back as if it were charity work. And I simply looked at them and said, ‘This is a business plan.’ And back then, that was very unheard of. And they told me very concretely never to mix the two. And I think that just made me more determined to do so.”

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

Burch was motivated from the beginning, but turning her ambition into results—Tory Burch, the brand, and the Tory Burch Foundation—took time. “It took me 10 years. And literally five months ago, I sent our first e-mail to our team saying we now have real impact on scale and we can talk about it externally. Ambition came after that, and it was something that I realized I was buying into. That was a very harmful stereotype. When the New York Times did an article on us and the journalists said, ‘Are you ambitious?’ It was a very rude question at the time. That was 14 years ago. And a friend of mine called me after and said, ‘Why did you shy away from that word?’ And since then, I was determined to change that harmful stereotype, one that I bought into myself.”

For Aden, becoming a model seemed like a huge ambition—because there were few women like her in fashion. In many instances, she was the first woman with a hijab to earn certain modeling jobs. “For myself, professionally, I didn’t step out to be the first hijab-wearing model, but I had little firsts along the way,” she said. “I was the first homecoming queen in my town and in Minnesota [to wear a hijab]. And then I saw that with something as small as homecoming court, little girls in my community were coming up to me, asking me about things that I haven’t competed at or done. And then I went out for Midland City USA. And that was a big first, because it was the first time in Miss Universe history that somebody wore a hijab. And then that ultimately led me to be the first hijabi working model.”

Since that moment, Aden has continued to thrive by staying true to herself: “I’m still a small-town girl, and I didn’t have to move to New York in order to find success in fashion. I was myself, and I did it on my own terms. I’m doing it on my own pace. And that’s where I’m finding success, [by] just being myself.”

Vanderpump Rules’ Stassi Schroeder: There’s Nothing Wrong With Being an A-Hole

Stassi Schroeder has become a fan favorite on Bravo‘s hit series Vanderpump Rules for her unabashed honesty, relatable quotes, and all-around no-fucks-given attitude. But viewers didn’t always feel this way. In fact, when Vanderpump first started in 2013, she was branded as a villain for the qualities everyone now praises. At Glamour‘s annual Women of the Year Summit, the reality star explained why this shift happened—and how embracing your “inner a-hole” can actually be a life-changing thing.

Read Stassi Schroeder’s full speech for yourself, below:

I’ve always had something inside me, something like an alarm that goes off when something isn’t right or when someone is trying to pull a fast one on me. I’ve been like this my whole life; people even called me Bossy Stassi growing up. It’s been my experience that women who go after and get what they want are often criticized. I would know. After the first season of Vanderpump Rules aired in 2013, I was called a villain, I was called a bitch, an I was called an asshole.

Then all of a sudden—in both our culture and in fan reactions—there was a shift. People went from hating me to loving me for the very same reasons. In season one, people hated the way I spoke. Now I’m praised for my conviction. In season one, people said I was mean and entitled. Now I’m praised for being unapologetically honest. In season one, I had a “bad attitude.” Now everyone “relates” to me, because we’re all just moody all the time. Right? I mean, come on!

Looking back, there really aren’t many times when I wish I had been less of an asshole. There are only times I wish I would’ve spoken up more—especially with my ex-boyfriends. I’ve reached a point in my life where, for my own sanity, I gotta do me. If I don’t speak my mind, my personal life suffers; I feel exhausted, walked all over, and annoyed all the time. It’s my opinion that being an “asshole” is basically listening to what your wants and needs are. To get what you want out of life, whether it’s stepping away from a business deal that brings you no joy or skipping a friend’s birthday party because you really just can’t that night. This is what I expect out of people, my bosses, my family, my friends, and my relationships.

Does it backfire? All the time. I’ve had people hate me, or think I’m a terrible person. My friendships and relationships have been rocky at times, like when I literally left Vanderpump Rules to take a break from some of my closest relationships. But at the end of the day, if I’m true to myself, I win.

Now I don’t want anyone to hear this and think, “I’m going to go be a total bitch now.” That’s not it. That’s not what I’m saying. Girls come up to me all the time trying to bond with me by talking shit. I hate when that happens. I’m saying that the qualities some people might characterize as “bitchy” are the same qualities that you might need to forge your own path. I am who I am. I know what I’ll stand for and what I won’t.

And if that makes me an “asshole,” I’m cool with that.

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2019 Women of the Year here.

Stassi Schroeder of ‘Vanderpump Rules’: There’s Nothing Wrong With Being an A-Hole

Stassi Schroeder has become a fan favorite on Bravo‘s hit series Vanderpump Rules for her unabashed honesty, relatable quotes, and all-around no-fucks-given attitude. But viewers didn’t always feel this way. In fact, when Vanderpump first started in 2013, she was branded as a villain for the qualities everyone now praises. At Glamour*’s annual Women of the YearSummit, the reality star explained why this shift happened—and how embracing your “inner a-hole” can actually be a life-changing thing.

Read Schroeder’s full speech for yourself, below:*

I’ve always had something inside me, something like an alarm that goes off when something isn’t right or when someone is trying to pull a fast one on me. I’ve been like this my whole life; people even called me Bossy Stassi growing up. It’s been my experience that women who go after and get what they want are often criticized. I would know. After the first season of Vanderpump Rules aired in 2013, I was called a villain, I was called a bitch, and I was called an asshole.

Then all of a sudden—in both our culture and in fan reactions—there was a shift. People went from hating me to loving me for the very same reasons. In season one, people hated the way I spoke. Now I’m praised for my conviction. In season one, people said I was mean and entitled. Now I’m praised for being unapologetically honest. In season one, I had a “bad attitude.” Now everyone “relates” to me, because we’re all just moody all the time. Right? I mean, come on!

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

Looking back, there really aren’t many times when I wish I had been less of an asshole. There are only times I wish I would’ve spoken up more—especially with my ex-boyfriends. I’ve reached a point in my life where, for my own sanity, I gotta do me. If I don’t speak my mind, my personal life suffers; I feel exhausted, walked all over, and annoyed all the time. It’s my opinion that being an “asshole” is basically listening to what your wants and needs are. To get what you want out of life, whether it’s stepping away from a business deal that brings you no joy or skipping a friend’s birthday party because you really just can’t that night. This is what I expect out of people, my bosses, my family, my friends, and my relationships.

Does it backfire? All the time. I’ve had people hate me, or think I’m a terrible person. My friendships and relationships have been rocky at times, like when I literally left Vanderpump Rules to take a break from some of my closest relationships. But at the end of the day, if I’m true to myself, I win.

Now I don’t want anyone to hear this and think, “I’m going to go be a total bitch now.” That’s not it. That’s not what I’m saying. Girls come up to me all the time trying to bond with me by talking shit. I hate when that happens. I’m saying that the qualities some people might characterize as “bitchy” are the same qualities that you might need to forge your own path. I am who I am. I know what I’ll stand for and what I won’t.

And if that makes me an “asshole,” I’m cool with that.

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2019 Women of the Year here.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Join Queen Elizabeth for Remembrance Day

Despite rumors of drama, the royals—including Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle—have been getting together a lot lately to carry out different family engagements and services. A day ago, they all appeared alongside one another for the Festival of Remembrance Service at Royal Albert Hall, an event that honors the efforts of soldiers in WWII. The commemorations continued on Sunday, when the whole family united again for a wreath-laying Remembrance Day ceremony on the balcony of London’s Cenotaph war memorial.

Kate took her place next to the Queen, wearing all-black like the rest of the guests. However, she’d pinned one important tribute to her elegant military coat: a small red brooch in the shape of a poppy, a keepsake that was made to honor the codebreakers who worked for the Allies during the war. Kate’s grandmother Valerie Glassborow was among the Allied cryptologists who helped decipher messages at the Bletchley Park mansion in the U.K. that became the center for code-breaking, according to Daily Mail.

Kate Middleton wears a red poppy pin to honor her grandmother at Cenotaph memorial. 

Karwai Tang

A few feet away, Markle also stood in all black, adding a chic, wide-brimmed hat to her ensemble. People have speculated that she didn’t sit near the Queen and Kate Middleton because of reported feuds, but really, years of tradition actually dictate exactly where each royal sits. (Markle also sat apart last year, so there’s precedent for this.) Because the balconies at the memorial site can only hold three to four people, the royal rank, depending on the line of succession, determines where everyone is placed. Since Markle and Prince Harry are farther down the succession line, Markle stood next to Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Sir Timothy Laurence, the husband of Princess Anne.

Meghan Markle attends the Remembrance Day service at Cenotaph. 

Mark Cuthbert

Prince Harry and Prince William, meanwhile, participated in the wreath-laying proceedings, joining Prince Andrew of York in laying poppies in honor of fallen soldiers. It’s a pretty serious event and the brothers carried out their duties with gravity, showing that they’re not letting gossip get in the way of their jobs.

Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, and Prince William at Cenotaph service.

Chris Jackson

Beanie Feldstein, MJ Rodriguez, and Britney Young Are Redefining What It Means to Be Leading Ladies

Actors Beanie Feldstein, Britney Young, and MJ Rodriguez rocked the big and small screens this year in awe-inspiring ways. You probably recognize Feldstein best from the summer movie Booksmart. Meanwhile, Rodriguez brought tears to your eyes as Blanca on FX’s Pose. And Young has been killing it on GLOW for three seasons now.

These performances couldn’t be more different, but they’ve all had similar effects on viewers: We were captivated and transformed by them. Credit for that goes to Feldstein, Rodriguez, and Young, who have changed the landscape for women in Hollywood just by being themselves. They’ve each pushed the needle forward for representation in various ways—be it race, gender, sexual orientation, size. At Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit, these three women got together and talked about how they’re disrupting the system.

Growing up, Rodriguez, Feldstein, and Young didn’t really see themselves reflected on screen. “There wasn’t a lot of representation for young African American trans women,” Rodriguez told Vogue senior culture editor Estelle Tang, who was moderating their panel at the summit. “But I found comfort in watching shows like Will & Grace and Noah’s Arc. It made me feel included at a young age.”

Young, meanwhile, didn’t see good representation for either plus-size women or bi-racial people. “There were larger people on film and TV, but they were never shown in a positive light” she said. “They were always the bully, the prison guard. I never saw a nice plus-size girl who wasn’t being mean to people. [Bi-racial representation] was never shown in a positive light, as well.”

Feldstein had a similar experience growing up. People constantly told her she’d grow up to play Tracy Turnblad on Hairspray, but that role never interested in her. She wanted to be seen for all her complexities and nuances. , “[Tracy] is not who I am. I’m so many other things, let me show you all the other roles I can play,” she said. “Thank God things changed as I got older, and we have so much room for growth.”

We do have room for growth, but these three women are playing a huge part in moving things along. They’re using their positions of fame and power to impact the sets and projects they work on. Feldstein says she learned a lot from her Lady Bird co-star Saoirse Ronan on how to set the tone of a set. “Stepping into slightly bigger roles [like Monica Lewinsky in American Crime Story, her next project] at the center of a story, I think, ‘What would Saoirse do?’ To be the center of a story and hold that space is intimidating, but watching her do it was [inspirational].”

Beanie Feldstein, Britney Young, and MJ Rodriguez at Glamour‘s 2019 Women of the Year Summit.  

Getty Images 

Two Years After #MeToo Went Viral, What’s Changed—And Who’s Changing It?

The sense that sharing your story, however painful, will ultimately make real change is what attorney Carrie Goldberg touched on next. Speaking to her own feeling of a lack of agency after experiencing harassment, she decided to start her own law firm representing victims who’ve suffered sexual abuse and harassment. Over the last five and a half years, her firm has helped hundreds of people who “need orders of protection…or need to sue people like Harvey Weinstein.”

Goldberg spoke about how she found strength in helping other women, despite “coming from a place of pain.” A similar sentiment was shared by author Tanya Selvaratnam, who said that the Summit was her first time telling her story in front of an audience. In regard to going public with abuse allegations against New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, she said she felt “like I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t”—but ultimately, she knew she needed to come forward.

Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Selvaratnam went on to say, “I don’t want to overstate my experience. There are millions of women who suffer violence so much greater than what I did. But I hope that my story helps others spot it.”

The conversation turned to where we go from here, with Asher stating, “The law does need to catch up with Me Too movements.” Goldberg says she still believes “in the civil justice system and the idea that if you’ve been injured—and sexual assault is an injury—then you should be able to take the offender for everything they’re worth.”

Selvaratnam shared that “a good part about my story came out in that New York now has its first African American and first female elected attorney general.” She added that she’s grateful for all the people who encourage everyone to keep fighting.

The #MeToo movement went viral with a tweet. For advocates and survivors, it can feel like there’s still a long way to go to make meaningful change—but as the women at the forefront discussed, societal change happens slowly, and it’s happening right now, with every conversation, and every discussion.

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2019 Women of the Year here.

Two Years After #MeToo, What’s Changed—And Who’s Changing It?

This month, the #MeToo movement turns two. In November 2017, twin Weinstein investigations in the New York Times and the New Yorker exposed pervasive sexual harassment in Hollywood. In the time since, #MeToo has become even more—a catchphrase, a caution, and a reminder that the work it set out to do isn’t done.

At Glamour‘s 2019 Women of the Year Summit in New York, CNN anchor Zain Asher sat down with three women on the front lines of the movement to take stock of it now—Carrie Goldberg, a Brooklyn-based attorney whose memoir Nobody’s Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls is available now, Tanya Selvaratnam, author of the upcoming book Assume Nothing: A Memoir of Intimate Violence, and Megan Twohey, the investigative reporter whose investigation into Harvey Weinstein at the New York Times with partner Jodi Kantor won a Pultizer, spawned a book (the transcendent She Said), and helped launch #MeToo in the first place.

The women discussed the #MeToo movement—how it came to be, how they each used their pain as a way to help ultimately empower others, and where to go from here.

For her first question, Zain Asher asked Meghan Twohey what her first question was to the women who were coming forward—whether she was interviewing A-list actors like Ashley Judd, Gwenyth Paltrow, or women like Laura Madden who had worked with Weinstein. Twohey, who had experience reporting on victims of sex crimes, said, “When asking women to open up about what was often the most painful experience in their lives…[I told them], ‘We can’t change what’s happened to you in the past. But if you work with us, and we’re able to publish the truth, we might be able to protect other people, and we might be able to turn your present pain into some sort of constructive public use.'”

Craig Barritt/Getty Images 

The sense that sharing your story, however painful, will ultimately make real change is what attorney Carrie Goldberg touched on next. Speaking to her own feeling of a lack of agency after experiencing harassment, she decided to start her own law firm representing victims who’ve suffered sexual abuse and harassment. Over the last five and a half years, her firm has helped hundreds of people “need orders of protection…or need to sue people like Harvey Weinstein.”

Megan Phelps-Roper on Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church: ‘I Abandoned My Faith’

For this year’s Women of the Year issue, we asked inspiring womenpast honorees, athletes, and more—to reflect on their life and work. At our 2019 Women of the Year Summit, we asked speaker, activist, and author Megan Phelps-Roper to do the same.

Phelps-Roper grew up in the thick of a notorious religious group: her grandfather founded the Westboro Baptist Church, a congregation known for its fire-and-brimstone beliefs and antagonistic picketing lines. As a member church’s founding family, Phelps-Roper didn’t question the rhetoric her the parish espoused during her childhood. The Westboro Baptist Church was right, and everyone else was wrong.

Then, Phelps-Roper joined Twitter at 23 years old—and learned that the beliefs she’d grown up treating as facts were fiction. Onstage at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit, she talked about publicly leaving the Westboro Baptist Church with her sister Grace in 2012. Read her moving speech below.


My life’s unraveling took place on an ordinary, brilliant afternoon in July 2012. A Wednesday. I was painting the walls of a friend’s basement when it suddenly dawned on me: The world was right; my views were wrong. I remember thinking it strange that a mind—an entire world—could shift so drastically and so spontaneously.

But let me back up for a second.

I was born and raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, an infamous congregation started by my grandfather and consisting almost entirely of my extended family.

I’d been protesting gays since the age of five, preaching God’s hatred for sinners on picket lines across the country. In my teens, I joined my family on sidewalks outside of military funerals, spitting on American flags and exultantly singing praises to God for the homemade bombs that were killing service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Westboro’s fire-and-brimstone message was the air I breathed all my life. But after joining Twitter at the age of 23, I encountered people who challenged my beliefs and unearthed contradictions my blind faith had missed. Why did we call for the death penalty for gay people when Jesus said only sinless people should “cast stones”? How could we claim to love our neighbor while also praying for God to destroy them? Discussing and dissecting opposing viewpoints with others on Twitter opened up a whole new way of thinking for me. Twitter helped others see me as a human being, and showed me their humanity, too. It would even eventually introduce me to the man I would marry.

And so on that afternoon in 2012, dripping paintbrush in hand, I felt the last traces of my zeal for Westboro extinguish under a pile of mounting doubts. I had come to a series of terrifying conclusions: We were wrong. I had spent my entire life antagonizing vulnerable people for no good reason. I had to leave. I also realized that my refusal to continue as a member of the church would cost me my family, my community, my home, my job at my family’s law firm—everything that had ever been important in my life.

And though I was afraid, I also knew that—in the strangest way—Westboro brought me there. My family taught me to be honest, even when the truth was painful. They taught me to stand up for what I believe in, no matter what it would cost me.

And the church gave me the tools I needed to see hate—even my own—not as an obstacle but as an opportunity to advocate for the kind of empathy that builds bridges, heals divisions, and changes hearts and minds for the better.

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2019 Women of the Year summit and awards ceremony here.

Nasim Pedrad’s Best Quotes at the “Glamour” Women of the Year Summit

Comedian and actor Nasim Pedrad isn’t just a handmaiden to Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin—she’s also the emcee of Glamour’s 2019 Women of the Year Summit which took place at New York’s Alice Tulley Hall at Lincoln Center on Sunday, November 10. (You also probably remember her from her six seasons on Saturday Night Live). On top of hosting the day’s activities, Pedrad is also the creator, writer, and star of the forthcoming TBS series Chad, which was inspired by her own experience growing up in America as a child of Iranian immigrants. (She plays a 14-year-old boy.) And throughout the day, she had some wisdom to share on what it means to “Go Big.”

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Glamour

Her best quotes, below.

“I wanted to play Middle Eastern characters— people—who were funny, nuanced, and flawed, and with flaws that were relatable. Characters that had humanity to them. But those parts didn’t really exist. Back then I found that so much of the representation of Middle Easterners in the media was predominantly negative. So since the roles I wanted weren’t available to me, I knew I had to ‘Go Big’ and create them myself. And that’s when I started writing.”

“I was determined and excited to be my own boss and create my own show.”

“When I first told the network I wanted to play a 14-year-old boy [in Chad], the idea was met with legitimate confusion and concern. ‘There’s no way we can make that show! What’s wrong with you! Like, Nasim, Why don’t you play the mom!’ In fairness, they had every reason to believe I’d pitch them a show where I’d play, you know, like an adult woman.

“But that’s not the show I wanted to make. I thought you could make a teen show so much funnier if the teenager was played by an adult who’s in on the joke who has that perspective of why teenagers are so funny. And I knew I could disappear into looking like a little dude…So I spent the next five years fighting for this show to see the light of day. Chad was my personal ‘Go Big’ moment. And by moment, I mean an excruciating half decade of challenges, set-backs, but ultimately perseverance.”

“I really wanted to write something that felt honest to my experience growing up in America as a child of immigrants.”

“Right now, I want you to take a second and think about a challenge you have in front of you where you could ‘Go Big.’”

“Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to help your parents with technology. Was it fun? Or did it result in the sudden death of your will to live?”

Find out more about Nasim Pedrad and Glamour’s 2019 Women of the Year here.