There were no surprises when InStyle Magazine announced the second annual Women of Style Award winners in Sydney last night. Celebrities and other high profile women featured prominently in the list of winners, which makes me wonder what was the point? Do these women really need more accolades (not that I consider the InStyle awards an accolade), more press coverage and more schmoozing by those bottom feeders of our celebrity obsessed culture – the gossip mags? Apparently not, as two of the biggest celebrities (Nicole Kidman and Deborra-lee Furness) were not in attendance and most of those shortlisted for the awards, didn’t even bother to show up.
Nicole Kidman received two awards for News/Entertainment and Readers’ Choice. Nicole, currently in Hawaii with filming commitments, accepted her award via video. While Deborra-lee Furness nominated her mother to receive her award on her behalf.
High profile entrepreneur Naomi Simson won the Business category. While Simson, who founded experiential gift etailer RedBalloon was a worthy recipient, I’m betting InStyle didn’t look any further afield than their own girlie tastes, for nominees in this category.
Commenting on the awards, Kerrie McCallum, editor of InStyle, said: “The InStyle and Audi Women of Style Awards are the country’s premier awards evening recognising the efforts of outstanding women who not only display innovation, passion and perseverance in their field of expertise – but also play a special role in Australian culture today.”
A bold statement there from Kerrie McCallum. Since when did ONLY the achievements of celebrities and women who can afford to keep a publicist on retainer, matter? No wonder so many of our young people would rather model their behaviour on celebrities, than follow in the footsteps of women such as Professor Elizabeth Blackburn, the Australian scientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine last year.
This is not to say that I think there was any intent on the part of InStyle magazine to deliberately ignore the achievements of so many Australian women who deserve equal recognition. Nope, like so many others who hand out these type of awards, InStyle magazine was just lazy. Why spend hours looking for more obscure references to greatness, when you can just come up with a couple of dozen names off the top of your head.
The full list of InStyle and Audi Women of Style Award winners reads like a who’s who of celebrities and high profile women:
News/Entertainment: Winner: Nicole Kidman
Shortlisted: Claudia Karvan and Jessica Rowe
Fashion: Winner: Kirrily Johnston
Shortlisted: Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke, Sass & Bide; and Nicky and Simone Zimmermann
Charity/Community: Winner: Deborah-lee Furness
Shortlisted: Rachel Ward and Catherine Freeman
Business: Winner: Naomi Simson (RedBalloon)
Shortlisted: Elle Macpherson and Kristina Karlsson
Arts/Culture: Joint winners: Del Kathryn Barton and Deborah Mailman
Shortlisted: Dr Anita Heiss
Lifestyle: Winner: Chui Lee Luk (Claudes)
Shortlisted: Saskia Beer and Terri Winter
Beauty: Winner: Sharon McGlinchey
Shortlisted: Shelley Barrett and Mandy Gray
Environment: Winner: Dr Tammie Matson
Shortlisted: Cate Faehrmann and Sidonie Carpenter
Design: Winner: Melinda Dodson
Shortlisted: Caroline Casey and Alena Smith
For the second year in a row, InStyle has wasted the opportunity to honour ‘real’ women of style – those who work every bit as hard as those honoured by the gossip mag, but who apparently lack one vital ingredient in the recipe for success – a publicist. So I think we can just dismiss InStyle’s award show as nothing more than a PR exercise for everyone involved. What do you think?