Pamela Adlon: I Find Hope in the Art of Self Acceptance

At Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit, Pamela Adlon, star and creator of FX’s Better Things, opened up about the art of self-acceptance. Her full speech, below.

Hi. I’m Pamela, and I have a show on FX called Better Things. One of the reasons I wanted to make a show for myself—besides wanting to have a show and making work for myself, which are both unbelievable gifts—is that I had never seen someone like me represented on television. Like…a kind of person like me. Not a pretty shiny piece of candy. Not a character out of a Kerouac novel. Just somebody like me. And my friends. The way we are. We’re a little worn in and slightly damaged.

I have always lived my life in an observational way. Make no mistake, I’m fully engaged in everything I do. I just have a tendency to stand back and look at my life with a separate lens—like an inside outsider. I’m observing. When I was younger, I used to take things very personally. I would let any kind of perceived adversity affect me in a negative way. As a kid and a teenager. As a student, school was tough for me. Jesus. I hated school. I didn’t know how to make it work for myself. As a young adult, as an actor, I tried to look a certain way—I thought about changing my name (and changing other things about myself). I worked my ass off when they would let me or when I wasn’t being fired for some of those things I just mentioned (not cute enough…no tits…).

I stopped comparing myself with others—and relaxed.

And then boom. As a mom. I would see—no, I would actually look—for the disapproving eyes or clucks of people who looked at me like, “What is that?” I was always trying to measure up as a mom. To other moms—the “robot moms,” I call them. It’s so crazy because, in my life, I was always the youngest. Which frustrated me to no end. I was the youngest and I looked so young! I couldn’t get into the clubs….And then all of a sudden, I was the oldest. I am the oldest right now. I think I’m oldest. I lied about my age to myself for so long that when I turned 50, I really didn’t know it. Until the Internet told me. (Thanks for that, by the way.)

Then something happened, which was really something quite amazing. I stopped comparing myself with others—and relaxed. Knowing that I was doing my best, as a person, as a mom, as a professional, as someone still trying to learn and educate myself. I gained muscles I never knew I could have. Never knew were in me. And when that happened, everything changed. In one word: confidence. I know that sounds like a cliche.

Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t have fear. Fear is something I never had as a younger person—well, except ultimate death. Otherwise, I was completely fearless. I was an “I don’t give a fuck” kind of no-fear person. But later…life happens. And stakes get high. And your dad dies. And babies get born. And you think, You know what? I’m not so much anymore into heights…or skiing…or roller coasters…or relationships.

Pamela Adlon on 'Better Things'

PHOTO: FX Networks

Pamela Adlon on ‘Better Things’

So, boom, after years of being marginalized, well, marginalizing myself. Fired. Insecure. Being involved with a string of spectacular narcissists. Getting my body waxed.Why did I do that? Losing. Being bullied. Compartmentalized. Manipulated. Did I say fired? I found myself in a place where I had no choice but to make hard decisions. And I started to gain confidence.

It has come to my attention that people feel good and thrive when the person in charge has the ability to make decisions. And the bravery of that made the fear and paranoia go away.

Do you need a body man in life? Yes. Maybe…that would be nice. But, you really don’t. You can find that in your friends and your family and your trusted coworkers. (I mean, the ones you trust—not the ones who suck.) You ‘gotta Keep passionate and stay focused. If it feels like hard work, keep going. You’re on the right track.

When my daughters had a problem at school or in life. I taught them to advocate for themselves. Other than that, I don’t have a limit for my daughters. Except Nazi porn. That’s my one line. Also, they know they need to make their own paper. Make their own futures. Pave their own way. They want to. They’re driven to do it. I say yes to my kids. I say yes to their friends. And it’s the best, because they all want to be home. At our house. I used to fantasize about getting away from my kids and having time on my own. Now that they are all almost grown, I just look for any opportunity I can to be with them and make myself available to them.

All of us have some huge childhood burden bag of shit that we carry around. So…OK. Good. You can acknowledge it and you don’t have to be defined by it or where you came from. Or what happened to you. That shapes you, but you’re in charge of who you are. It’s called damage control. If you sit in a dark box and wait for the phone to ring, you’re waiting for your future to come to you. It doesn’t work that way anymore. You have to look for windows of opportunity and understand they are precious. And few and far between.

Get out of your comfort zone and you will grow and get stronger. The journey is the reward.

Feeling like nobody is gonna care about your story—that held me back for a while. And then I finally started to write it all down. And all of the things that plagued me my whole life got woven into my show. And I thought, ‘Well, this is my story, and people can watch and say, “I wanna see how she does it. I want to see her color and hear her sound.”

Fear and doubt will break you. If you bear down and get the hard work down you neck, it’s gonna pay off. Every single path will lead you to the place you were meant to be and, hopefully, want to be.

My dad used to say, “Shake the cocktail.” He meant it as it applied to his writing. It applies to everything. Even if it feels too hard to get out, make a shift. Change feet, shake the cocktail—it’s always worth it. Get out of your comfort zone and you will grow and get stronger. The journey is the reward. And don’t ever think that once you’ve made it, you can rest on your laurels.

There are no laurels.

My name is Pamela. I have my period, I’m going through menopause, and I have a beard. And I approve this message.


Find out more about Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year here.

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Why Ann Dowd Is Grateful She Found Success Later in Life

At Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit, The Handmaid’s Tale star Ann Dowd opened up about finding success later in life. Her story, below.

I want to tell you a brief story, if I may. When I was a young actress, 30 or so, I was on the way to my waitress job in my black pants and my white shirt and my black tie—glamour is not the word that would come to mind at all. Feminine? No. Nothing. I looked across the street and there were several limousines parked outside of the theater. And I looked at the marquee and it said, “About Last Night starring Elizabeth Perkins,” who was my classmate. I was going to wait on tables, and she was going to a premiere of her film that would launch her into stardom.

I got through the shift, and I went home on my porch, and I wept and screamed into the night, “When?!” When is my turn? And it was one of those dark nights of the soul—we’re all familiar, I’m sure. And a voice—I’m not kidding—quiet, probably from the inside, said, “It will all be fine. It will all be alright. You will be in your 50s. You will be 56.” And I said, “Oh no! No, no!”—missing the whole point of the voice—I said, “I’m not waiting until my 50s. I have no intention, so you can take that message and…”

Keep your love story alive.

Well, as it turns out, I was in my 50s, and I was 56 when I did the film called Compliance, which shifted things for me tremendously. But this story is interesting because what do you do between the ages of 30 and 56? Because, as we know, life is long. Life is short, but really life is long in that regard. So, darlings, I want to tell you a few things that I believe deeply in the hopes that it might, in some way, give you a moment to think.

Keep your love story alive—and by love story, I mean the love you have for the work that you do—for it is a pure and powerful dynamic, and it will sustain you. Pay attention and take care of it. We are here to do the work we are able to do—the work we love to do. It doesn’t mean there won’t be ups and downs; there will be plenty of them. Keep the love story alive.

For some reason, I had an unshakable faith that all would work out. I don’t know if it’s because of that voice, which I tried to stop and kill, or because I just thought, I am an actress, and that is what I’m going to do. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the future. I would suggest that—a little time, but not a lot. Pay attention to where you are. Celebrate the small victories. Every time I got a role, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. I didn’t care if I had two lines or if it was a Broadway opening, which was thrilling. I thought, Oh my gosh, someone said yes. Someone said, “I see. I agree with you. Go on now.” It’s a beautiful thing, but celebrate the small ones, darlings. It may take time.

Stay humble. Stay grateful for every single day and for all that goes on in that given day. I can tell you from experience there is nothing worse than an ego gone wild. When I see it in the business I’m in, I want to say, “Sit down a minute. Who raised you? I don’t think your mother and father thought this would be the way to go.” Darlings, stay humble and grateful. It will suit you. It will support you. Use your manners. Manners are a wonderful and forgotten thing. Use them.

I can tell you from experience there is nothing worse than an ego gone wild.

Darlings, take many trips out of your head and into your heart and soul. That is where freedom lives. That is where lack of judgement lives. And that is where hope and love thrive. It’s a very good compass, that heart and soul. Consider it as often as you can.

I mean this without any irony: I worry about your generation because you came into the world with phones and things, didn’t you? So why would know there’s another way? I could barely find the phone in our house growing up. Darlings, put them down and do so regularly. I promise you this: The answers come with the silence. In the quiet. The answers for you and the secrets that are yours alone to know come in the silence. You don’t find them in the phone or in the computer or on the television. Consider nature a very good teacher. Keep learning.

Let the world know in no uncertain times what you plan to do. When I came to New York—I’m not kidding you—I had no agent, no job. I stood in front of Broadway houses—I didn’t care who saw me—and I said, “How are you?” to the theater. “I will be seeing you soon, and I will not be in the audience. I will be on your stage, and I thank you.” I did it countlessly. Don’t obsess about the details of how. Just let the universe know, “Excuse me. I’m coming. I’ll be here in a minute. And thank you.” Gratitude. I remember those days of loneliness and despair. When I didn’t have an audition or anything happening, I would go straight to the bedroom, I would take out my monologues, and I would do them. And I would remind myself in the mirror, “You are an actress, and you are in charge of your life.” It is not for others to say—no, yes, anything—you are in charge. That is the gift you came into this world with.

It is not for others to say—no, yes, anything—you are in charge. That is the gift you came into this world with.

Here’s the last thing I want to tell you, and I think it’s the most important: You do not have to be the best. That’s a whole lot of pressure, darlings. Say no to it. The last thing I’m going to do is read you a beautiful poem, and if you could think about when you have time. It’s called The Wild Geese, and it’s written by Mary Oliver.

“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”

I wish you, from the bottom of my heart, all the very best. Thank you.


Find out more about Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year here.

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Halsey Delivers Poem With a Powerful Message at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit

At Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit on Sunday, November 11, Halsey delivered a powerful original poem, called Inconvenient Woman, that has a clear message for all women: Be inconvenient. Read it in its entirety, below.

Brutally honest, outspoken and fearless

Goes with their gut, never favors appearance

‘Cause who has time for vanity with opponents to extinguish?

And don’t you think that hint of silver hairline is…distinguished?

In men? All these qualities, they make you a genius.

But if you’re a woman, you’re an inconvenience.

So he storms through the halls and he tracks down his boss

Two years in this office he’s battled across

A media major, he’s craving the glory

Bursts into a meeting, demands better stories

The newsroom head is delighted, you must know

“Now that’s how you do it! Just show me some gusto!”

And four feet away, in department store heels

Is his colleague, Sarah. She fights back her tears.

Cause she chased him down every Friday in winter

Three years in this office (plus two as an intern)

And when she requested some tasks with more substance,

He glanced at his phone and responded, disgusted,

“Please lower your voice, and how dare you approach me.

Really, your tact could afford you some coaching,

You’re acting so crazy!” His tone was defeating.

“And have some respect, I’ll be late for my meeting—

You’re being…inconvenient.”

It’s 7pm and her husband’s arriving

She fires the stove and just stares, though she’s trying.

It’s been a few days and she slept on the couch,

Depression has stolen the smile from her mouth.

He walks in, he’s angry, he asks about dinner.

“But couldn’t we just order in,” she considers.

He stares with a vacant and displeased expression,

“So why do we pay for these therapy sessions?

If you can’t be decent and take a damn shower.

You won’t ever fuck me, you’re crying for hours.

When I first ever met you, I LOVED all your crazy.

You stayed up all night and you dressed like a lady.

You fucked like a rabbit, you loved it back then,

But now you’re this lump of a mess in my den.”

He stormed out the room and she folded his tie.

She first bought it for him when his father had died.

He slept in for days and he missed weeks of work,

So she took up some supplement shifts as a nurse.

She never complained, though, she made it a promise.

But she liked her manic self, too, to be honest.

She wished that her crazy was sexy and fun, too.

But depression snuck up and she started to undo.

Why can’t she just man up and act like a wife?

She vowed to a man that she’d serve him for life.

She really doesn’t mean to be so inconvenient…

So let’s cut to a woman who’s lived out a miracle.

Made it through life being less than agreeable.

She’s running for office but battles a bias

So to fix it, she’s hired the best team of stylists.

They try her in pantsuits and skirts tailored perfect

She stares at the mirror and bleeds through its surface.

“But why do I need to look pretty to be seen?

I’m far better qualified and he’s just plain mean.

While he’s loud and he’s touting a hot wife to gloat,

So you know that’ll earn him the working-class vote.”

“They think that you’re old and the polls all reveal

That they really won’t like you with no sex appeal.

It’s not really fair, but it’s just how things are done.”

So she pinches her wrinkling skin in her thumb

And thinks, “Isn’t this just inconvenient?”

A couple meanders through Sunday brunch tables

They pick up some coffee and inspect the bagels.

Somebody approaches an after-church service.

Immediately our young wife becomes nervous.

She asks if they’re planning on having a child

She looks at her feet and her manner grows mild

“She’s trans but that’s none of your business here, lady.”

She doesn’t want kids but the subject of babies

It makes her get anxious, she knows that she’s valid.

But her belly’s not carrying much more than a salad.

Her husband, defensive, he rubs on her arms

Politely replies, it’s just not in our cards.

The churchgoer’s rude and refers to the sermon,

“No children? Well that’s just a waste of a woman.”

She relays this story to friends over wine,

And they tell her that not wanting children is fine.

She says, “Well if you wanted, you could carry your own.”

But she doesn’t know all their stories at home.

Cause some of them spend their nights cursing their wombs

Over handfuls of pregnancies ended too soon.

But before they can say they feel inadequate, too,

A fight erupts down in the back of the room.

A black woman storms through the bar in her apron

It seems she’s in trouble for slapping a patron

He put both his hands on her backside and squeezed

He said, “White women really don’t got ‘em like these!”

Her boss is irate and he tells her she’s let go.

“Why can’t you behave, yo’, you’re acting so ghetto.”

She tried to defend herself only to find

A black woman’s anger is never in line.

Aren’t all these women just so inconvenient?

Ever since the march I’ve been asked to write poems

But irony proves to be just ever-growin’

I’m asked to address how to be “inconvenient”

But before I can speak, first they want me to screen it.

They’re scared that I’ll freak out and do something wild!

But censorship really just isn’t my style.

Some even suggested that they write the speech

But how could they say that they do what they preach?

With all due respect to these media teams,

I don’t get on a stage and not say what I mean.

So, sorry to Glamour for cursing too often

But I’ve never really been the type that would soften.

A message I’m passionate about in my bones

So, if you’re offended, and viewing at home:

I’m here to say that I’m not sorry

For being…inconvenient.

You were not put on this earth to make everybody else’s life easier.

So please, be inconvenient.

Halsey Delivers Poem With a Powerful Message at the ‘Glamour’ Women of the Year Summit

At the 2018 Glamour Women of the Year Summit on Sunday, November 11, Halsey delivered a powerful original poem called “Inconvenient Woman,” that has a clear message for all women: Be inconvenient. Read it in its entirety, below.

Brutally honest, outspoken and fearless

Goes with their gut, never favors appearance

‘Cause who has time for vanity with opponents to extinguish?

And don’t you think that hint of silver hairline is…distinguished?

In men? All these qualities, they make you a genius.

But if you’re a woman, you’re an inconvenience.

So he storms through the halls and he tracks down his boss

Two years in this office he’s battled across

A media major, he’s craving the glory

Bursts into a meeting, demands better stories

The newsroom head is delighted, you must know

“Now that’s how you do it! Just show me some gusto!”

And four feet away, in department store heels

Is his colleague, Sarah. She fights back her tears.

’Cause she chased him down every Friday in winter

Three years in this office (plus two as an intern)

And when she requested some tasks with more substance,

He glanced at his phone and responded, disgusted,

“Please lower your voice, and how dare you approach me.

Really, your tact could afford you some coaching,

You’re acting so crazy!” His tone was defeating.

“And have some respect, I’ll be late for my meeting—

You’re being…inconvenient.”

It’s 7:00 P.M. and her husband’s arriving

She fires the stove and just stares, though she’s trying.

It’s been a few days and she slept on the couch,

Depression has stolen the smile from her mouth.

He walks in, he’s angry, he asks about dinner.

“But couldn’t we just order in,” she considers.

He stares with a vacant and displeased expression,

“So why do we pay for these therapy sessions?

If you can’t be decent and take a damn shower.

You won’t ever fuck me, you’re crying for hours.

When I first ever met you, I LOVED all your crazy.

You stayed up all night and you dressed like a lady.

You fucked like a rabbit, you loved it back then,

But now you’re this lump of a mess in my den.”

He stormed out the room and she folded his tie.

She first bought it for him when his father had died.

He slept in for days and he missed weeks of work,

So she took up some supplement shifts as a nurse.

She never complained, though, she made it a promise.

But she liked her manic self too, to be honest.

She wished that her crazy was sexy and fun too.

But depression snuck up and she started to undo.

Why can’t she just man up and act like a wife?

She vowed to a man that she’d serve him for life.

She really doesn’t mean to be so inconvenient…

So let’s cut to a woman who’s lived out a miracle.

Made it through life being less than agreeable.

She’s running for office but battles a bias

So to fix it she’s hired the best team of stylists.

They try her in pantsuits and skirts tailored perfect

She stares at the mirror and bleeds through its surface.

“But why do I need to look pretty to be seen?

I’m far better qualified and he’s just plain mean.

While he’s loud and he’s touting a hot wife to gloat,

So you know that’ll earn him the working-class vote.”

“They think that you’re old and the polls all reveal

That they really won’t like you with no sex appeal.

It’s not really fair, but it’s just how things are done.”

So she pinches her wrinkling skin in her thumb

And thinks, “Isn’t this just inconvenient?”

A couple meanders through Sunday brunch tables

They pick up some coffee and inspect the bagels.

Somebody approaches an after-church service.

Immediately our young wife becomes nervous.

She asks if they’re planning on having a child

She looks at her feet and her manner grows mild

“She’s trans but that’s none of your business here, lady.”

She doesn’t want kids but the subject of babies

It makes her get anxious, she knows that she’s valid.

But her belly’s not carrying much more than a salad.

Her husband, defensive, he rubs on her arms

Politely replies, it’s just not in our cards.

The churchgoer’s rude and refers to the sermon,

“No children? Well that’s just a waste of a woman.”

She relays this story to friends over wine,

And they tell her that not wanting children is fine.

She says, “Well if you wanted, you could carry your own.”

But she doesn’t know all their stories at home.

’Cause some of them spend their nights cursing their wombs

Over handfuls of pregnancies ended too soon.

But before they can say they feel inadequate too,

A fight erupts down in the back of the room.

A black woman storms through the bar in her apron

It seems she’s in trouble for slapping a patron

He put both his hands on her backside and squeezed

He said, “White women really don’t got ‘em like these!”

Her boss is irate and he tells her she’s let go.

“Why can’t you behave, yo’, you’re acting so ghetto.”

She tried to defend herself only to find

A black woman’s anger is never in line.

Aren’t all these women just so inconvenient?

Ever since the march I’ve been asked to write poems

But irony proves to be just ever-growin’

I’m asked to address how to be “inconvenient”

But before I can speak, first they want me to screen it.

They’re scared that I’ll freak out and do something wild!

But censorship really just isn’t my style.

Some even suggested that they write the speech

But how could they say that they do what they preach?

With all due respect to these media teams,

I don’t get on a stage and not say what I mean.

So, sorry to Glamour, for cursing too often

But I’ve never really been the type that would soften.

A message I’m passionate about in my bones

So, if you’re offended, and viewing at home:

I’m here to say that I’m not sorry

For being…inconvenient.

You were not put on this earth to make everybody else’s life easier.

So please, be inconvenient.

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year here.

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‘SNL’ Took On the Issue of Consent Last Night—and It Actually Went Very Well

Saturday Night Live might be a parody comedy show, but on this week’s episode, the writers room took on what could have been a pretty heavy topic: the subject of consent. (Not to mention they’ve had a couple of misfires with jokes in the past few weeks.) But the writers room came through and delivered a pretty spot-on sketch that showcases a little lesson that’s both very real and very funny.

In a digital short, cast members Chris Redd and Kenan Thompson take on the role of fictional rap duo The Booty Kings, who put consent first—alongside Davidson, who plays a not-so-bright fellow rapper named, uh, Uncle Butt. With the Booty Kings wearing #MeToo pins, they all hit up a club, where they rap about how women have a choice in each of their interactions with the guys and placing coasters over abandoned drinks. The show’s featured performers, Lil Wayne and Future, also drop in:

“I’m on a mission for that ass / but first I need permission,” the actors rap, with their “oversexed appeals to women” coming “with awkward shows of respect for the objects of their desire,” as NPR notes.

Yes, those are giant #TimesUp pendants they’re wearing, and, yes, those dollar bills are landing in a cup marked “Women’s Rights Fund.”

Thompson adds on the track, “Love to touch that booty / but respect that it’s your choice” because they are “allies in this bitch.”

Although the video is certainly funny, the issue of equality in rap is nothing to laugh about. As NPR noted, the SNL short aired in the midst of some high-profile allegations around consent in the rap community. The late XXXTentacion, for example, was facing felony domestic assault charges before he was killed for allegedly beating his pregnant girlfriend, and Tekashi 6ix9ine was sentenced to four years of probation stemming from a 2015 sexual-misconduct-with-a-minor charge. (Both men are still thriving on the Billboard charts, with Tekashi 6ix9ine hitting No. 1 on the Hot Latin Song Charts in September.)

Watch the short here:

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The March for Our Lives Activists: Yes, You Can Become an Activist on Your Own Terms

After a former student with an AR-15 killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida earlier this year, a group of outspoken student activists demanded change. Gun violence needs to end—and they’re not taking no for an answer. They joined with other leaders to organize March for Our Lives. And on November 11, four survivors and activists from different communities across the country—Naomi Wadler, Edna Lizbeth Chavez, Samantha Fuentes, and Jaclyn Corin—took the stage at Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year Summit to talk about how you, too, can become an activist on your own terms.

In a discussion moderated by Glamour senior editor Mattie Kahn, the young women, who are also being honored as Glamour Women of the Year, touched on intersectional activism, female strength, and optimism. Below, their best advice.

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images

Glamour Senior Editor Mattie Kahn with Naomi Wadler, Edna Lizbeth Chavez, Samantha Fuentes, and Jaclyn Corin

On creating an intersectional movement: From the early days of March for Our Lives, the activists stressed the importance of intersectional activism. “It’s not just one person representing all, it’s everyone representing their own stories,” Chavez, an 18-year-old from South Central L.A. currently enrolled as a first-generation student at Cal State, explained. “I can’t speak for Parkland [survivors], I can’t speak for Naomi, and they can’t speak for me. It’s important to highlight and get voices of the youth from all across and all ages.”

Corin, one of the survivors from the Parkland shooting, spoke about how her involvement in March for Our Lives has educated her about her privilege as a white woman from a suburban area. “I can’t speak on gun violence in brown and black communities because I never experience violence until February 14,” she told the audience. “We needed to connect with kids from around the nation to make sure all voices are represented because, ultimately, gun violence is multi-faceted… I have vowed to myself that I will continue to [learn about this] my whole life, because there are so many people who experience this around the nation.”

On how adults should be talking to young people about these issues:“[Adults] feel like they’re passing the baton to us,” Fuentes observed. “There’s not enough communication and collaboration between the youth and the people running the country. If there’s no communication, how are we ever going to come to a solution that we can agree upon?” Both groups can learn from each other, she says. By collaborating and teaching each other about their experiences, we can “accomplish great things.”

Wadler understands first-hand about having to justify her place in this conversation: She’s 12 now, but she was 11 when she started receiving national attention for her activism. “Part of the concern with me being 12 and 11 is that I shouldn’t know this—I should be protected, I should be in this bubble, I shouldn’t be exposed to the terrible things going on in the world,” she told the audience. “I think a lot of parents don’t think that their kids are aware of what they are aware of… because they don’t pay attention. They expect their kids to say in their bubble.” Wadler believes that parents and schools should be incorporating these topics into their curriculum and conversations, to educate them not only on the issues, but also on what they can do about them.

“If we’re old enough to experience the violence, we’re old enough to talk about it,” added Corin.

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Glamour Senior Editor Mattie Kahn with activists Jaclyn Corin, Naomi Wadler, Samantha Fuentes, and Edna Lizbeth Chavez

On their understanding of female strength: Something else Wadler has learned through her activism, particularly as an African American female leader, is all the boxes people want to put you in—whether that’s “black” or “from the inner city”—which, she feels detracts from what you can do together, as a community, to address certain issues. “We shouldn’t be making up ways to divide ourselves furthermore,” she explained.

Being a part of the March for Our Lives movement has given Fuentes a community of diverse women she can relate to. “For a woman of color who is also bisexual and who is open on platforms, I get attacked regularly, just for waking up in the morning and having something to believe in,” she shared. But this group and its members, “it makes my purpose a lot stronger and a lot concrete to me.”

“The more strong women in the world, the stronger the world gets,” Fuentes continued, to which Corin added: “The midterm elections actually had over 100 women elected to Congress—the most ever. We’re living in a time where it’s transforming in front of our eyes.”

On optimism—and understanding disappointment: “In order for us to do a lot of this work, we need to be open-minded and open-hearted,” Chavez explained. That means not giving up, but also preparing for reality to set in. “I always quote my grandpa, and what he always tells me, La misma persona que cae en la boca del diablo es la misma persona que puede salir.” That roughly translates to: The same person that falls into the mouth of the devil is the same person who can get himself out. “Even though there are disappointments in front of you, you can still overcome them, despite the negativity that is thrown at you,” she said.

Corin feels motivated by “the conversations we have with students and youth leaders across the country,” noting how she finds them to be more engaged and attentive to the issues that matter—something “that’s only going to continue to increase… We’re going to make civic and political engagement in our youth normalized moving forward.”

Oh, and one last note from her: “Please register to vote.”

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year here.

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Mindy Kaling, Hoda Kotb, and Savannah Guthrie’s Best Advice

If anyone’s qualified to talk about making your dreams come true, it’s three women who have refused to take no for an answer. Mindy Kaling, Hoda Kotb, and Savannah Guthrie all just happened to do so on TV—Kaling in her revolutionary series The Mindy Project, and Kotb and Guthrie co-hosting Today on NBC. But even as Kaling’s built a reputation for asking “why not me?” and encouraging women to go for everything they want, it’s easier said than done. That’s where determination comes in—something the three can all speak to, especially when it comes to the long hours and hard work involved.

At Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year Summit on Sunday, November 11, the three gathered for panel called Closing the Dream Gap: Showing Girls (and Ourselves) What’s Next. Their biggest advice for women looking to build their confidence and make their dreams come true is to put in the hard work. From that, they say, comes the confidence and the courage to think you can achieve anything.

“I always just did the leg work, and it meant I never came to anything unprepared,” Kaling said. “The only reason I was able to be confident was because I literally couldn’t not be confident with the amount of research and preparation I did.”

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

Kaling at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit

Guthrie echoed a similar sentiment. “The work is the confidence,” she said. “Confidence isn’t some slogan. Confidence is earned.”

Kaling noted that self-love is also a really big part of success. The actress and comedian says that when she Googles herself, she notices how people say she’s really “into” herself. “It’s not that I’m into myself,” Kaling said. “It’s that I don’t hate myself. In my career, a lot of people have a problem with being around women who don’t hate themselves. Never hate yourself.”

Kotb, Guthrie, and Kaling also discussed a conundrum many women face: the balance between being assertive and coming across as “likable.” Kaling told a self-deprecating anecdote about how never being perceived as conventionally attractive by men actually made asking for things easier. “When you are ignored in that way, things like confidence and asking for things in your professional career become a little easier,” she said.

Guthrie added, “Growing up, I was not an attractive child. Boys didn’t like me. Physical appeal was never what I had, so it helped me to come up with a personality and lean on other things. What gives you success in the longterm comes from the inside.”

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

Guthrie at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit

Kotb shared a story about how her friend Maria Shriver’s 22-year-old son was the one who complained about the less-than-appetizing food at a luncheon filled with extremely powerful women. She said that many of the women there, despite being so successful, were afraid to voice their dissatisfaction for some reason.

The trio hopes this thinking changes for other women, but on their own terms. “I want [my daughter] to be confident and humble,” Guthrie said. “I want her to be gentle and bold.” Kotb added, “You can change and evolve by watching other women.”

At the end of the day, all three of these women say dreams come true when you figure out how to swallow your fear—even temporarily. Fake it until you make it. “I was fearful and insecure, and I just did it anyway,” Guthrie said. “It took me a long time to feel solid and secure. Maybe just yesterday.”

Kaling spent years being frustrated with the lack of diversity in Hollywood. That’s what motivated her to go after her acting and writing dreams. “I’ve always just had a chip on my shoulder,” Kaling said. “When you’re raised without seeing representation and you’re forced to relate to Jennifer Aniston on Friends, you’re just starved for it for so long.”

2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit: Women Rise

PHOTO: Craig Barritt

Kotb at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit

Representation is what helped Guthrie realize she could be lead anchor of a news show. “I felt like I connected with [Katie Couric], ” she said. “She made sense to me. And I was like, ‘Maybe I could do that.'”

Overcoming adversity and fear—specifically breast cancer and a divorce—is what helped Kotb see things more clearly. “You start to think to yourself, ‘Well, now what am I afraid of? What am I afraid of?” she said. “I remember I woke up one morning and I got four words: You can’t scare me. All of a sudden I became empowered.”

A similar phenomenon happened to Kaling, too. After she broke a gender and race boundary in Hollywood and found herself working on The Office, she asked herself what else was possible. That’s what she, Guthrie, and Kotb want to happen for all women.

“Why not you?” Guthrie said. “Whatever your dream is, you don’t have to shout it to the world—but in your own mind think big.”

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year here.

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If You’ve Ever Struggled With Body Image, Lili Reinhart Has a Message for You

You can always count on Lili Reinhart to get real about personal topics, from body image to mental health. On stage at the 2018 Glamour Women of the Year Summit on Sunday, November 11, the Riverdale star opened up even more in a powerful speech.

Reinhart kicked off her remarks by discussing a recent struggle: Constantly seeing herself on social media and in paparazzi photos. “I became hyper-aware of my changing body,” she said. “I could see the difference in my shape in photos and wondered if anyone else was noticing. I felt this strange, constant struggle of having to live up to the expectation of the appearance that I had already established to the world.”

Those expectations were a looming—and unfair—stressor, coming from all angles. Media, she said, is often responsible for enforcing unrealistic ideals for young women like her. But, she added, it’s up to young women to start altering the narrative.

The 22-year-old said she wants the conversation around women’s bodies to change—not just for herself, but for generations to come. “I think about when I have kids in the future,” Reinhart said. “Will my daughter be self-conscious about gaining weight? Will she feel the need to explain her body or justify it to anyone as it changes? Will she feel that same need that I do now—to apologize to her peers and say ‘My body doesn’t usually look like this,’ or ‘I’m just a little heavier than usual right now?’ How utterly ridiculous is it that we even think about explaining the nature of our bodies to other people?”

Sometimes I feel like I look like shit. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone. And I’m allowed to have those days. I’m not going to apologize for that.

Reinhart ended her speech asking the women in the audience to follow her lead: forget unrealistic standards and celebrate one another’s individual beauty. “Remind yourself that this perfect world you see online or in magazines… in movies and television… are presented to you through many different filters,” she said. “Do not set impossible goals of meeting those fake standards. It’s unrealistic to think that your body or my body will ever look like anyone else’s. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We are all imperfectly beautiful.”

The Riverdale star has always been honest about her struggles with body image and mental health on her personal social media accounts. In the October issue of Glamour, she opened up about experiencing body dysmorphia relating to her acne. “I have a specific type of body dysmorphia that stems from acne. I see any acne on my face as an obsessive thing. [It’s] the only thing I can think about, and it makes me want to hide,” she said.

Like she reiterated in her speech, Reinhart’s not going to apologize for being exactly who she is anytime soon. “Sometimes I feel like I look like shit. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone. And I’m allowed to have those days,” she told Glamour. “I’m not going to apologize for that.”

Find out more about Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year here.

Read the full transcript of Reinhart’s speech below.

“We exist in a world today where everything can be faked or fixed. Noses can be changed, and stomachs can be tightened, and cellulite can be lasered away, apparently. Because that’s what we are told to do, which is alter ourselves in order to be beautiful.

“For the past year… I’ve been quietly trying to navigate my fluctuating weight and I’ve faced criticism in the past for talking about my body image. People told me that I didn’t have the right to talk about being self-conscious about my body because I was skinny.

“And I understand how it seems inappropriate for someone who is average size to talk about problems with weight gain. But, my point is, I didn’t think anything was wrong with my body until I was in an industry that rewards and praises people for having a smaller waist than I will ever have. It felt unfair to think that I would never have an industry perfect body, just because I wasn’t genetically built a certain way. I was exposed to young women, smaller than I was, telling me that they needed to lose weight.

“So I became hyper-aware of my changing body. I could see the difference in my shape in photos and wondered if anyone else was noticing. I felt this strange, constant struggle of having to live up to the expectation of the appearance that I had already established to the world. So I found myself examining my body constantly in the mirror. Sometimes thinking…’Okay, like, I was being too hard on myself. Everything’s fine. I’m still the same size. Everything is fine.’”

“Only go back to the mirror a few hours later… and notice that my stomach looked completely different. So I was thinking, was my reflection lying to me? How can my body look so different over the course of one day and why do I feel like I need to apologize to the world for my ever-changing self? I didn’t want the world to think I was catfishing them with my appearance or making myself out to be a certain size and shape when clearly my body was changing.

“So I told myself… If I can see this change then other people can too. Reflections don’t lie. Or do they? And is that body dysmorphia? Or is this the normal part of being a woman that no one really talks about?

“I think about when I have kids in the future. And will my daughter be self-conscious about gaining weight? Will she feel the need to explain her body or justify it to anyone as it changes? Will she feel the same need that I do now— to apologize to her peers and say ‘My body doesn’t usually look like this,’ or ‘I’m just a little heavier than usual right now’? How utterly ridiculous is it that we even think about explaining the nature of our bodies to other people?

“But it’s because we don’t want them to judge us. Because judgment and criticism have always existed. It’s just that now, everyone can be a critic and can share it publicly and without hesitation, at the push of a button.

“I used to look at all the magazine covers near the checkout line at the grocery store when I was younger. And sometimes the cover would show a celebrity with the headline, ‘Here’s what she REALLY looks like!’ And I wanted to see, obviously. I wanted to see what was underneath and I wanted to see the flaws. Everyone wants to see the flaws of another person. Because we want to see glimpses of our own insecurities in them. We want to know that we aren’t the only ones.

“From a young age, we are unknowingly being trained by magazines, marketing, and all forms of media, into thinking that having cellulite or not wearing makeup is worthy of being publicly shamed. So there was no way in hell that as young women digesting this media, we weren’t all going to try and hide those parts of ourselves from then on. We aren’t born with these insecurities. We are told to be insecure about certain things. We are conditioned to feel ashamed or embarrassed about certain parts of ourselves.

“The world is not going to reform tomorrow. We can’t rely on those who profit from our perceived flaws to change their ways. There is no easy fix to the ideas of women that have existed for hundreds of years. So that leaves us with one option which is changing it ourselves. Showing what’s real with no filter and certainly with no shame.

“You are helping the movement of strong, modern women when you show the parts of yourself that we have been forever been told to hide. So as a first step, I encourage you to find a healthy balance between expressing the natural, vulnerable side of yourself with the glamorous, contoured side. As much as I like to share photos from shoots and red carpets I think it’s much more important to show what I look the other 99% of the time.

“Some days, I feel strong and confident. And some times, I’m sucked into the rabbit hole of awful comments, where strangers are criticizing parts of myself that I wasn’t even aware of.

“So how do I let every day, be one of those victorious days? Where I feel invincible? I don’t have the perfect solution. But I have discovered some things that help me have those better days. I started to purge myself of content that made me feel less beautiful on a daily basis. I unfollowed the accounts on Instagram that made me question the shape and curves of my own body.

“I also started living a more active lifestyle because I wanted to feel healthy on the inside, which required some thoughtful effort on my part. But I wanted to know that I was healthy and strong without having identical measurements to those other women that I’m seeing.

“Remind yourself that this perfect world you see online, in magazines, in movies and TV, are presented to you through many different filters. So do not set impossible goals of meeting those fake standards. It’s unrealistic to think that your body or my body will ever look like anyone else’s. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

“We are all imperfectly beautiful so let’s embrace that. And practice that in a healthy way. There is a massive, worldwide community of women who are rooting for beauty to be recognized in every shape and color that we come in. Events like this Glamour Summit are a part of that movement.

“So embracing your natural beauty, does not exclude anyone. There is no fine print. You can be naturally beautiful with acne or scars, cellulite or curves. So let’s celebrate each other, and ourselves, as we are, as we will be, and as we were meant to be. Unique. Imperfect. Beautiful. And so incredibly powerful.”

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Women of the Year 2018 Summit: Three Female Entrepreneurs Share Some Real Talk on Starting Your Own Business

Did you know that, in 2017, female founders got only about 2.2 percent of venture capital funding? A sobering statistic, but an unsurprising one to any woman who’s working to turn their idea into a viable business. Still, many have been able to cut through all the noise to create some of your favorite products, from Away carry-ons to Outdoor Voices leggings. And they have some real-talk for anyone hoping to follow in their footsteps.

At the Glamour Women of the Year Summit, Audrey Gelman of The Wing, Jen Rubio of Away, and Ty Haney of Outdoor Voices came together in conversation with Suitan Dong from the Female Founders Fund to discuss what it takes to get from pitch deck to big business. You can follow all the inspiring speakers and panels from the on our Summit recap—below, we round up some of their most pressing tips for female entrepreneurs.

Don’t get discouraged by the no’s.

Away’s Rubio has been on both sides of the fundraising conversation, so she knows that “no’s” are just a part of the process. But, from her experience, she sees women get discouraged by the sheer amount of rejection you face in those early stages of the business. “It’s part of the process,” she says. So it’s important to prepare yourself for it.

When she was first pitching Outdoor Voices, Haney would introduce her idea as “the next big activewear for women”—more often than not, to a group of men, who would counter with the names of the big-name activewear brands you know (and are, well, mostly run and designed by men). A lot of times, they wouldn’t get her vision for Outdoor Voices. So Haney came up with a new strategy: Send product ahead of a meeting to the women in the office, to the VC’s wives… Then, she started to hear yes from the rooms full of men. “Being a woman is a competitive advantage when you’re building a company for women,” Haney says.

The process doesn’t end once you get that coveted “yes,” though: The Wing’s Gelman stresses that what you do once you receive it is just as important. In her case, it’s fostering a community that then allows for more female entrepreneurship: having members network, encourage each other’s ideas, hire each other, and so forth. Pay it forward to get more voices in the room.

Know when to take advice—and when to not.

Rubio and her co-founder, Stephanie Korey, both came from Warby Parker, which is often held up as the paradigm for start-ups—but “one of the first things we realized is that there’s no traditional startup experience,” she says. There’s no playbook for starting a small business; in fact, a lot of what they learned during their time at Warby Parker didn’t really translate to their new concept, of starting a direct-to-consumer luggage brand. When you start a company, you get advice from a lot of people. The key, according to Rubio, is to learn how to filter through all of it and apply what makes sense for your business.

Cultivate a sense of community within your customer base.

The Wing’s 6,000 members are “their marketers,” according to Gelman: They spread the word on the co-working space and create interest in what they’re doing, attracting new customers. From its inception, The Wing would host events for specific sub-sets of their community—based on where they lived, or what industry they worked in—where they would pass physical business cards to each other, connect in real life… And that proved to be a valuable asset. Now, The Wing is working to launch a mobile app that allows its members to get in touch outside of the physical space, whether that’s for advice or networking.

Remember that fundraising is a two-way street.

Walking into a room to pitch your idea for a business can be extremely intimidating. But Haney encourages people to remember: You’re just talking to a person. If you’re real and vulnerable, it’ll come across.

Gelman points out that, when you’re fundraising, the power dynamic can feel imbalanced: They have money, you don’t. So when you’re preparing to pitch your company to potential investors, try flipping that and asking, “Do I want to partner with this person?” It takes the power back, if only energetically—and it offers you, as a founder, an important lens through which to think about potential partnerships.

Rely on your community of fellow female founders.

The community of female business owners is, unfortunately, still pretty small—but it’s there, and there’s often overlap when it comes to potential executive hires and VCs. Backstage, Rubio and Haney were discussing some candidates they were looking at for open positions at their respective companies. Because you often end up talking to a lot of the same people, you can recommend folks to each other and get real insight that you can’t find elsewhere.

This network is also not city-specific: Haney launched Outdoor Voices when she lived in New York, but she then relocated to Austin. And though the decision to move her still-growing company to Texas might have felt odd at first, she slowly began building her own community out there, thanks to some introductions from other female founders. (Girlboss’ Sophia Amoruso introduced Haney to Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd, for example.) “Don’t be scared to leave your comfort zone,” she says.

Be really, really sure that you want to do it.

Newsflash: Starting a business is hard. You’re going to be told “no” a lot. It can feel lonely. What’s going to get you through is passion, says Rubio. “You have to really want to do it… It’s easier than ever to start a company—it also means you can go too far in a direction you don’t want to be in.”

For Haney, it’s all about execution, and making sure she can deliver on an idea she sets her mind to. She has a rule of having no more than three goals at a time, for instance—that helps her stay focused and ensure she doesn’t muddy her vision.

Also, don’t get caught up in what other people are doing. Gelman likes to think of the quote, “Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outside.” You might see something in a magazine and think they have it all together, but it could be a whole different story behind the scenes. Keep your eyes on your own path.

Get more from Glamour‘s Women of the Year Summit here.

Yvonne Orji: I Didn’t Have $7 to Buy Pizza. Then God Sent Me a New Life Plan.

At Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit, Yvonne Orji opened up about how her faith led her to a starring role on HBO’s Insecure. Her story, below.

I’m Yvonne Orji. So some of you may know me as Issa Rae’s very messy best friend Molly on HBO’s Insecure. Thanks for watching! But what you may not know is that the journey to get there was entirely faith-led. Like, y’all, I could not have this life or anything. Nothing about the six-year-old girl who emigrated from Nigeria to America who was destined to be a doctor…if you know anything about Nigerians, you’re a doctor, lawyer or engineer. My mom is still praying, “Just one day. Maybe just one day…” It’s like, no. But nothing about my story pointed anywhere to comedy.

And that is where God comes in. Y’all that was all His idea.

I was raised as a Catholic, so God was always kind of a part of my life in a way. But as a freshman in college, I attended a Bible study that completely changed my life. That’s where I became a born-again Christian. Now, I know some of you are like, “In college?” Yes, because nothing about freshman year says Scripture, OK? Because I had a plan, so I was like, where are the boys? But I attended a bible study, and the minister there kept referring to God as, “Daddy.” I’ve never heard anybody refer to Him so intimately, and I’m really competitive—I have three older brothers—so for no reason I was like, “I want what she has.”

One night, when I was trying to figure out what was next and needed some clarity, I heard Him say, “Do comedy.”

I wanted that level of intimacy, so I said yes to the invitation—and from that, I too developed a very intimate relationship where I hear God. And one night, when I was trying to figure out what was next and needed some clarity, I heard Him say, “Do comedy.”

I’m sorry, what?

Because I wasn’t funny. I was like, nobody laughs at me. They used to laugh at me. Nobody was like, “That Yvonne is SUPER funny.” But at that point, I was on my way to becoming a doctor. I was stalling because I got my masters in public health. This is what you do when you’re the child of immigrants—you go to school to avoid going to school. And then after I got my masters, I was still not ready to be a doctor. I wanted to go to Liberia, which was just finishing a war, because it was easier for me to go to a war-torn country than tell my parents that I wasn’t going to be a doctor.

So I was wrestling. I was wrestling with God’s words. I was like, “What do you mean you want me to do comedy?” Here’s the thing, how many people have challenged God and won? You know, you can’t wrestle with Him. I’m not a fighter, look at me. So clearly I took His advice and I did comedy.

Sounds daring and fun, but pretty soon after I moved to New York I found myself with zero dollars and zero leads. Let me tell you right now: That’s not sexy. OK? Because Sallie Mae wants her money, like all of it. So one day I found myself incredibly hungry. I was in Harlem, and if you live in New York you know about 2 Bros. Pizza. It feeds the artist and the homeless, guys. It was $1 a slice of pizza, and if you’re really fancy you can get two slices and a soda for $2.75. I see some people shaking their heads. 2 Bros. Pizza is where it’s at! But here’s the kicker: I’m living in Queens at the time, and I didn’t have the $4.40 to take the subway to get there and back. Here I was, 25 years old, with two degrees, and not even the $7 to get a slice of pizza.

I was like, was this really the life I risked it all for? I have a family that loves me and cares about me, and I am broke. I am poor.

PHOTO: HBO

Orji on ‘Insecure’

But God must have sensed my doubt because, in that instant, I promise y’all I got a download from Heaven…I grabbed a pen and paper, and I wrote everything I heard as He dictated plans for my life. And in that moment, it was like, this is amazing…I took a nap, and when I woke up I was like, I’m just going to say yes.

What followed was a series of saying yes. Because if He has plans for me, then I should just go with it. So I said yes to the temp job I hated but allowed me to perform comedy at night. I said yes to taking over a stand-up show in New York City. I said yes to a residency in a college production in Richmond, Virginia, that gave me two days to get there. I said yes to being a writer in the writers room for a TV show in L.A. At the time I didn’t know what that was, but, guys, it’s pretty self-explanatory. That’s what Google is for.

Say yes. What’s the worst that could happen?

So there was a lot of hustle and there was a lot of setbacks. I’m not going to front. The road to comedy was not sexy. I make it look very sexy now, but it was hard. That show that I was writing on got canceled—but from that point forward, I just kept listening. … I put every idea I had into creating the trailer for a show called First Gen, a series about a Nigerian girl who drops out of Med School to become a comedian (sound familiar?). This was back in 2016, and the trailer for First Gen became my audition tape for Insecure. It’s what Issa was able to see and turn to the producers and say, “Give her a shot.” I didn’t have an agent, manager, anything, I had never acted. So this is HBO—Home Box Office—this is not like, a small production. And this thing that I hunkered down and accomplished was what Issa was able to be like, “Let’s try her out!”

So, I’m not a surgeon, I’m not. Don’t get sick around, I’ll probably just give you Advil. But I’m definitely fulfilling my purpose. Inside all of us exists some kind of compass—whether it’s divine or otherwise—but it’s something desperately trying to navigate you and all of us to the life we know we were destined to live. So I think the choice is pretty simple: Keep letting fear sidetrack you or take what you’ve been given, maybe even told from God above, and say yes. But whatever it is, keep going. Keep doing it. Why not? That’s what Glamour Women of the Year is all about—women who are not afraid to go after what they want.

Say yes. What’s the worst that could happen?


Find out more about Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year here.

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