Beauty isn’t about looks. It’s a light that shines when it’s shared with the world. The 25 women selected for our second annual tribute are stunning, to be sure. But their real beauty lies in the acts of courage they perform daily, the ways they give back to their communities, their depth of dedication to the causes they serve, and their fearless refusal to accept the status quo. As the old saying goes, Beauty is as beauty does.
FOR GIVING HOPE-AND HOMES TO KATRINA SURVIVORS
When those first disturbing images of a storm-ravaged Gulf Coast hit the news, the talk-show queen said she found herself in the same position as a lot of folks-sitting at home, feeling frustrated and useless. But then she did what the government hasn’t quite done: pledged that she would not forget the evacuees, and mean it. Winfrey, 52, partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build a neighborhood in Houston for 65 families displaced by the hurricane. She even created an online registry so viewers could help furnish the houses being built. In February the first wave of families moved into their new homes. She plans to provide housing for more than 250 families in total and has committed $10 million of her own money to help rebuild Katrina survivors’ lives. “Everybody has to do what they can,” she told CNN.
FOR FLYING INTO THE EYE OF THE STORM TO GET THE STORY
While traveling to Mississippi to cover the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina for Good Morning America, journalist Robin Roberts, 45, was also thinking of her own family’s well-being on the Gulf Coast. “It was the first time I’d ever cried on television,” she says. “As I talked about what had been my home for 35 years, I just couldn’t separate myself from that.” Moved by the destruction, Roberts partnered with GMA to launch a yearlong initiative to help the residents of Pass Christian, Mississippi, her hometown.