NEW YORK (AP) — There was a flamboyant pop star. A legendary singer. A TV star, some supermodels, and one of the world's most powerful philanthropists. Even a former secretary of state who may soon be running for president.
But of all the prominent women who appeared onstage Monday night at the Glamour Women of the Year awards, no one received more acclaim and adoration than a teenager whom no one had heard of little more than a year ago — 16-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai.
"We love you, Malala!" shouted a group of young girls from a high balcony in Carnegie Hall, where the annual event was held. The teenager blew back a kiss, and proceeded to give an impassioned speech.
"I believe the gun has no power at all," said Malala, who caught the world's attention when the Taliban shot her in the head in October 2012 for criticizing the group's interpretation of Islam, which limits girls' access to education. She has since gained global prominence, has started The Malala Fund to support education for girls, and recently released a memoir, "I Am Malala."
"I believe the gun has no power because a gun can only kill," she said. "But a pen can give life."
It wasn't just the crowd that was taken with Malala; her fellow honorees referred to her often as they took the stage, and the night's most flamboyant honoree, Lady Gaga, said she wished this month's Glamour magazine cover, which features her, had been devoted to Malala instead.
"If I could forfeit my Glamour cover I would give it to Malala," she said.
In a long and sometimes rambling speech, the pop singer, who sported a huge mane of frizzy white hair, a glistening white suit and her typically sky-high platform shoes, also said she thought she looked too artificially beautiful on that cover. "I do not look like that when I wake up in the morning," she said.