The Business Behind the Glamour “Woman of the Year Award”

Newsflash: Husband of 9/11 hero returns “Woman of the Year” award from ’01 after Caitlyn Jenner gets it.

Glamour has just awarded the “Woman of the Year” award to Caitlyn (formerly known as Bruce) Jenner which has prompted James Smith (the widower of Moira Smith who was the only female NYPD cop who died after rushing into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001) to return the award which Glamour awarded to his late wife.

When Glamour presented the award to honor Officer Moira, the award recognized the ultimate sacrifice made by one human in an effort to save thousands in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. With the award now going to Caitlyn Jenner, I’m guessing it recognizes the courage of the most famous man who became a woman.

Bruce Jenner isn’t the first man to become a woman but he is the most famous. As a former Olympic champion who once graced the Wheaties cereal box at the breakfast table to more recently his part in the Kardashian franchise, Caitlyn as a brand certainly offers monetization opportunities on a silver platter.

Like it or not, we live in a word where “what’s trending” directly relates into money. The more people talk about something, the more opportunities exist for advertisers to reach their audience, and that equates to financial opportunities. It’s a revenue stream – and a huge one. Caitlyn is big money right now. If you don’t agree, spend some time on social media and see just how many for-profit companies are talking about Caitlyn.

In the end, the award should go to anyone who fit’s the criteria in which the entity that created the award (in this case a for-profit company) deems fit. After all, it’s their award – and their busine$$.

Award or no award, what people do is what they do. Who they have an impact on is who they have an impact on. While awards are nice, we should always identify the fundamental reasoning behind an award so we an then apply the appropriate “value” of the award.

I’m don’t have an opinion as to whether James Smith is doing the right thing by returning the award given to his heroic wife and I don’t have an opinion on whether Glamour is doing the right thing by awarding one to Caitlyn Jenner. Glamour is a business and as such they are about making money first and foremost. Once you understand that intellectually, it completely negates any emotional aspects because they can’t fundamentally exist to begin with in this situation.

When Glamour says “we stand by our decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner”, they are standing behind their decision to be a for-profit company. No matter how you spin it, it only comes down to money.

For what it’s worth, I am eternally grateful to Moria Smith for her sacrifice and I give kudos to Bruce Jenner for giving inspiration to those who want to venture down that same path. Both admirable, one profitable.


John J. Simpson

On twitter @johnjsimpson





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