As everyone has probably heard by now, Billboard’s woman of the year award was presented to Selena Gomez. I mean, really? She was the most deserving of this award? I know that Selena Gomez has overcome a lot in her life, most recently a kidney transplant, and she has done several things that deserve recognition, but woman of the year? In my opinion, there are several other woman that deserve that award more than Selena Gomez simply because I believe she received this award because she got a kidney transplant. There are millions of people who have overcome medical difficulties and received transplants or survived a diagnosis they weren’t supposed to survive – don’t they deserve awards too?
I realize that Billboard’s woman of the year award recognizes women in music; this award gets mass media attention and if you weren’t watching the awards then you heard about it within 24 hours. Is there an award that chooses women across all categories and platforms? This is a question I don’t have an answer to and perhaps I should since I feel this topic deserved a blog post. I think women outside of music should get awards for all the truly amazing things they do as well.
So, who really deserves THE Woman of the Year Award?
My question is, why hasn’t Sophia Bush been given every single woman of the year award? She isn’t a musician, but I’m sure if she was, she would use that platform for good too.
Sophia Bush is a woman for women – if you follow her on Twitter or Instagram, then you know this too. Even while she was filming One Tree Hill (2003-2012) she used her platform to empower women and to tell them that they are enough just the way they are, that it is important to be themselves, and that size zero isn’t a fashion statement. This was just the beginning. Since her time on One Tree Hill, she has continued to use her platform to empower women and the passion and fire only continues to grow. She has also publicly supported equal rights for the LGBTQ community through her participation in several Pride events and her collaboration with companies such as Joe Fresh to design a shirt in support of LGBTQ equality. She has worked on The Girl Project and worked with Michelle Obama on the Let Girls Learn initiative to give education to all young girls and women. She uses her platforms to fight for women’s rights – pay gap, birth control, education, sexual harassment – to name a few. While filming Chicago P.D. (2014-2017), she used her platform to tell stories of social justice for all people, of all ages, races, sexuality, and backgrounds . She has since left Chicago P.D. but has not remained silent about bringing social justice to those her deserve it. Her passion and the way she uses her platform to fight for good is inspiring.
Again, I ask, why hasn’t she received every single woman of the year award?
Not only did Rachel Platten write “Broken Glass”, but she is literally breaking glass ceilings. Maybe not in the sense that some might think “breaking the glass ceiling” means -by climbing a corporate ladder and becoming CEO- but Rachel Platten is redefining “breaking the glass ceiling”. The “Fight Song” singer who has been inspiring people all around the world since the release of her song in 2015, continues to use her music for good. During the 2016 election campaign, Hillary Clinton used “Fight Song” for her campaign and it changed the way Rachel Platten wanted to use her platform. She is using her song to empower women, to change the way women do things. I think it has become quite obvious that women aren’t going to sit down, be quiet, and look pretty any longer. I know I’m not – I don’t have it in me to do that anymore. Rachel Platten’s “Broken Glass” is telling women that they don’t have to do that anymore. We have this ability to break the glass ceiling in more ways than one.
Rachel has also recently started the #WomenCreatingWaves social media campaign. Her goal is to highlight all the amazing things that women around the world are doing. Since the starting campaign she has highlighted chief brand officer of Uber – Bozoma Saint John, cancer survivor and stereotype breaker – Chloe “Coco” Herrington, the chairs of the Women’s March – Tamika D. Mallory, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, & Linda Sarsour, founder of IAMTHATGIRL – Alexis Jones, and author and speaker – Gabby Bernstein. She encourages everyone on social media to post their #WCW or #WomenCreatingWaves to highlight the amazing and inspiring women doing amazing things in their lives.
Rachel Platten definitely deserves Billboard’s Woman of the Year Award, or any woman of the year award, for the way she has used her platform to give all women a voice.
Side note: If you haven’t seen Rachel Platten perform “Fight Song” or “Broken Glass” live, get out there and buy your tickets now! You won’t regret it – to see her sing either song is powerful and inspiring. Imagine the goosebumps I got went nearly every young girl and woman in the crowd sang both songs with everything they had in them.
If you haven’t heard about the waves Chyler Leigh has been making in the LGBTQ community, then you must be living under some kind of rock. I came across Supergirl by accident last summer. All of the shows I normally watch were on their summer hiatus, so I needed to find another show. I clicked on Supergirl on Netflix – I have never been into shows or movies involving superheroes, but what the heck, right? I am so glad I did for many reasons, but one reason is Chyler Leigh.
There are 3 reasons Chyler Leigh deserves this award:
- 1. She was cast as Alex Danvers, a badass, female, DEO agent that chases down evil. – This is a role that is typically stereotyped as masculine, but in my opinion, Chyler Leigh plays this role better than any male actor could. She is fierce and passionate, but also soft and loving. She is breaking glass ceilings with her role – she is the agency’s best agent, she is a leader, she is certified in 30+ weapons, she fights her own battles, and she is a woman.
- 2. She advocates for the LGBTQ community. – If I remember correctly, she said that when she was cast as Alex Danvers, she had no idea she would have a coming out story line, but she did it so beautifully and respectfully. She had no idea the impact she would have on the LGBTQ community, but her story has resonated with so many people. Chyler continues to advocate for the LGBTQ community through her character, Alex Danvers, but she also uses her presence on social media so beautifully advocate as well. She always takes the extra time to make sure she is getting her facts and emotions “right” when it comes to portraying a lesbian character – she wants her fans to feel validated in their emotions and to know that loving who you love is not wrong.
- 3. She advocates for mental health. – Not only does Chyler advocate and give a voice to the LGBTQ community, but she also uses her platform for mental health awareness. She, along with several of her Supergirl cast mates, are active with the “I Don’t Mind” campaign, telling people their mind matters and that they matter.
Chyler gives a voice to three groups that are so often stigmatized, stereotyped, and shamed. If she doesn’t deserve an award for this – for standing up and being a voice for those who may be too afraid to do so for any number of reasons, for doing so knowing the backlash she could and does receive – then I’m not sure who would deserve the woman of the year award.
There are several other women I believe are also truly deserving of the Woman of the Year Award, be it Billboard’s or any other woman of the year award, but when I think of woman of the year, Sophia Bush, Rachel Platten, and Chyler Leigh all come to mind first. Can you hear these strong, powerful, inspiring women now?