Twice a year, Variety gathers some of the most influential people in Hollywood for Power of Women, an exclusive luncheon that honors women who are using their clout and influence to bring attention to worthy causes. And for fall 2017, Dermstore was there to witness the ceremony and show its support to these women as one of the major sponsors of the event.
The invite-only event was held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills on Friday, October 13, bringing together over 500 guests from the world of film, television, music and the media, including some of the biggest names in the industry such as Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Viola Davis and Arianna Huffington. It celebrated not only the outstanding work of the five honorees—actresses Michelle Pfeiffer, Priyanka Chopra and Octavia Spencer, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and singer/songwriter Kelly Clarkson—but also addressed some of the most pressing issues plaguing the industry: gender inequality, lack of diversity and the ongoing sexual assault allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.
The glow™ by Dermstore lounge
In the midst of the Weinstein scandal, host Judd Apatow and Variety’s co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller commented on how this was a fitting week to celebrate the power of women, proving that women standing together can be a powerful force for good and positive change. Gwyneth Paltrow, among those who have spoken out against Weinstein, was also present at the event, there to introduce one of the honorees, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Pfeiffer, who was honored for her work with Environmental Working Group (EWG), spoke about how being a mom encouraged her to look into safe household products, which was how she discovered EWG and the work they do. “At one point I was mixing my own bug repellent in my kitchen, spraying my kids with vodka. I’m not proud,”Pfeiffer said. “How do you want to know what non-toxic products are best? EWG will tell you. I came to EWG for the advice, but I stayed for the advocacy. The fight is real, and it’s never been so important.”
Priyanka Chopra was also honored for her work with UNICEF as Global Citizens Goodwill Ambassador. “Giving back was not a choice, it was a way of life,” she said. At the event, she also shared her first negative experience working as a woman in Hollywood: “A film director told me that if I don’t agree to the ridiculous terms and painfully low salary in his film that he would just replace me, because girls are replaceable in the entertainment business.”
Kelly Clarkson and Priyanka Chopra share heartwarming stories
Aside from singing songs that empower and inspire, Kelly Clarkson was honored for her efforts with XQ Institute’s The Super School Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to redesign high schools across the nation through innovative curricula, alternative teaching techniques and more advanced technology. At the event, Clarkson shared a proud mommy moment when her daughter expressed her fascination over the movie Wonder Woman. “It’s nice to have this bold female figure for your girls. Once (my daughter) saw the little girl, Wonder Woman, learning how to fight and defend herself, she loved it. She started acting it out and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was recognized for her role in the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), a movement that provides a support network for formerly incarcerated young men and women. “Everybody deserves a chance to be a superhero,” she said, using the Wonder Woman character as an example of how an unlikely character who is constantly questioned and doubted can still stand up and decide to be a hero for others.
Variety‘s Power of Women Honorees Kelly Clarkson and Patty Jenkins receiving congratulatory gifts from Dermstore
Octavia Spencer, known for her roles in Hidden Figures and The Help, was recognized for work with City Year, a nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to keep kids on track to graduate. At the event, she spoke about the scandals involving Harvey Weinstein and how this has inspired women from around the world to take action. “Women across the world are banding together, leading the charge to ensure that these victims are heard and policies change.”
Asked what this event means for Dermstore and its clientele, Senior Manager of Content, Kat Sherbo explains: “The team at Dermstore is dedicated to helping women feel confident and empowered, not only when it comes to skin health, but in their personal and professional lives. This celebration of women, charities and positive change was an honor to be a part of; the ongoing challenges of equality and resources for all will be an honor to continue fighting for alongside the incredible women and men we shared the afternoon with.”
From left: Priyanka Chopra with Kelly Clarkson; and Dermstore Art Director Lauren Salerno with Priyanka Chopra