From Oscar Winners to Philanthropists: 25 "Badass Women" Candidly Celebrate Their Successes

Photo: Donato Sardella/Getty Images

Last night, InStyle and Laura Dern, in partnership with Brahmin, gathered 25 women from around the country for the first of what's to be a series of dinners, honoring Badass Women column.

"We've always loved Brahmin bags at InStyle for their perfect mix of modern and classic and dedication to craftsmanship. Brahmin is a lady-run brand that instantly got what Badass Women was about," InStyle's Editor-in-Chief Laura Brown says.

At the Sunset Tower in Los Angeles, an Oscar Award Best Actress Winner (Nicole Kidman), an orphan advocate with over 50 adopted children (Maggie Doyne), a fashion executive (Lexi Martin), and a photographer (Alex Prager) gathered to celebrate one thing and one thing only: the amazing power of Badass Women.

What's a "Badass Women"? By InStyle's standards, Badass Woman women "not only have a voice but defy the irrelevant preconceptions of gender." They're also exceptionally cool. Since the #MeToo movement started, Dern and her group of friends (both actresses and activists alike) have been working non-stop to protect and amplify women's voices. And the work they've done thus far has been momentous.

After Oscar-acceptance speech worthy introductions made by each attendee, Laura Dern's daughter, Jaya Harper, read a prepared a statement, welcoming the incredible group of women to the table. (P.S. (f you needed any further proof that Generation Z will save us, here it is.)

"If you’ve asked yourselves why you are all here, the answer is, why not," Harper began. "What makes all you different is not how known or unknown you are, but that you have made change. Not only for your own generation but all generations younger than you will take on your inspiration. Whether it’s making a speech in front of a crowd or being the mastermind behind a non-profit organization you’ve all done something significantly special, not just in your field of work. We’ve gathered here because this is a time for women to support women. Not just any women, but the Badasses like you. Because without the badasses to make any change, we wouldn't be anywhere.”

The speeches continued and powerful woman after powerful woman celebrate their successes: From director Ava Duvernayto Saru Jayaraman, the Director of the Food Labor Research Center which works tirelessly to protect the rights of restaurant workers. From powerhouse Dawn Hudson, CEO, of the Academy of Motion Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to producer/actress Nicole Kidman. And Lexi Martin, the director of marketing and e-commerce for our partner, Brahmin, who spoke about the power she feels working at a female-led brand.

"I swear to god all I want to do in this world is play badass women," Oscar-winner Allison Janney said excitedly. The table applauded, and one attendee reminded her that she doesn't only play them, that she is one.

"I grew up with no women as inspiration," Ellen Pompeo told the table. Pompeo's mother died when she was only five years old. "I emulated men. I emulated the gangsters and the wise guys I grew up with in my neighborhood. But at this age, to be inspired by women is really something quite special, quite healing and extraordinary."

That's badass.

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