Last night, celebrities packed Carnegie Hall to celebrate Glamour magazine's Women of the Year, women honored for making a real impact. Recipients included Victoria Beckham, Misty Copeland, the family members of the Charleston mass shooting, Elizabeth Holmes, Caitlyn Jenner, Cecile Richards, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team and Reese Witherspoon. Each person was honored with a short video and gave an inspiring acceptance speech, rallying the crowd to make their own mark on the world. Here are five lessons in particular that stood out:
1. Women are stronger as a pack. All of the recipients talked about the importance of being inspired by other women, not competing against them. As the U.S. Women's Soccer Team accepted their award, the captain told the crowd that winning took every single teammate.
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2. The new standard of power is changing. When Misty Copeland was little, she was told over and over again that being black would hold her back from being a prima ballerina. This year, the 33-year-old made history when she became the first African American principal dancer. "The standard of power is changing," Copeland told the crowd. Proving someone wrong and accomplishing something people said couldn't be done is powerful and sets a bold example.
3. One person can change a culture. Six months ago, Caitlyn Jenner was a name no one knew. Now, she is helping millions understand what it means to be trans, and education is the key to acceptance. Now, she is a strong advocate addressing important gender issues like trans suicide. With her leading the charge, the staggering statistic that 41 percent of trans or gender-nonconforming Americans have attempted suicide could change dramatically with the next generation.
4. Forgiveness is power. Perhaps the most emotional moment of the might was when several family members of the Charleston church shooting took the stage and said they forgave the murders who took their loved ones' lives. "We were brought up being taught to love our enemies, but how often do we have to live that out? Love is stronger than hate," they boldly proclaimed. Their message of forgiveness and love sparked an entire movement raising issues about gun control, and also getting the Confederate flag taken down off flagpoles across the state.
5. Women's stories are important. Reese Witherspoon started her own production company when she realized no movie studio was making movies with women as the lead character. Its first two films, "Gone Girl" and "Wild" because massive successes, proving just how big of a hole was missing. Now, her film company, Pacific Standard, has 32 projects in the works that puts women first.
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