If we’re honest, we still haven’t found a tremendous amount to celebrate since the advent of the ever-evolving hellscape that began in 2020. But at The Glow Up, we always find time to celebrate women—and most especially Black women—so we admittedly cracked a smile when we saw some of our faves gathered at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles on Monday night for Elle’s 27th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration.
Yes, we cover red carpets on the regular (all this year, in fact), and this is an annual event—so what’s the big deal? Well, as winter swiftly approaches and mask mandates (and resistance) rage on—along with increasing pushback against anything that resembles truth-telling, human rights or common sense—there was something seriously refreshing about seeing a diverse assemblage of dynamic women all dressed up to celebrate...each other.
This year’s Women in Hollywood honorees are Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, The Eternals’ Lauren Ridloff—a Tony nominee making history as the MCU’s first hearing-impaired character—her castmates Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, and Salma Hayek, as well as Jodie Comer, Gal Gadot, and living legend Rita Moreno.
If that reads like some kind of femme-tastic Benetton ad, we agree—and we’re here for it. Showing up to commemorate them at this year’s festivities? Luminaries like Debbie Allen, Kerry Washington, Ciara, Yvonne Orji, Mj Rodriguez, Van Hunt, Lena Waithe, Jurnee Smollett and more.
But beyond the fun, there is still the fight, as Berry, who directs and stars in an MMA-focused flick this season, told the magazine. “Fighting for the right to be is something that I know,” she said. “I started my career 30 years ago when Black women didn’t really have a prominent place in the industry, so I understand what it is to fight for what you believe in...For so many years, it felt like making a way out of no way.
“When I was starting out, the landscape was very, very different than it is now,” Berry added. “I’m grateful that I’m still here, and I’m a part of this awakening. Because I really feel inspired by what’s happening now.”
In a moment when inspiration feels in short supply, we are, too—and frankly, we’ll take whatever small glimpses of inspiration we can get. Of course, we’re also here to get into the fashion, so enjoy a little red carpet recap below.
To read profiles on all of of this year’s Women in Hollywood honorees, check out Elle’s November 2021 issue.