November 2, 2016

U2 can have a body like mine: Bono is named one of Glamour’s Women of the Year


Bono. Photo by Ricardo Stuckert for Agência Brasil. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Bono. Photo by Ricardo Stuckert for Agência Brasil. Via Wikimedia Commons.

It has been a great season for pop stars receiving awards and accolades that some people think they shouldn’t have received. But no matter your opinion on Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature, it is time to consider a new example of this phenomenon.

That’s because U2’s frontman Bono has landed a spot on Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year list. He goes down as the first man to break the glossy ceiling.

As many iTunes users know, U2 has a history of ending up places they don’t belong, and perhaps this elevates that to the next level. Do white dudes need more recognition? Especially in categories specifically carved out to spotlight other types of people?

Or perhaps Bono should be a woman of the year. The official announcement states:

For years our Women of the Year Advisory Board—made up of past winners, plus our editors—has put the kibosh on naming a Man of the Year on the grounds that men aren’t exactly hurting for awards in this world, and that here at Glamour, the tribe we’re into celebrating is female. But these days most women want men—no, need men—in our tribe.

 CNN host Christiane Amanpour agrees. Writing in Glamour (of all places) she says:

I’m on Glamour’s side: I think Bono is the perfect choice for this first-time honor because, now 56, he’s been trying to do good for as long as he’s been making music. I first met Bono, born Paul David Hewson, in Sarajevo over New Year’s 1996, shortly after peace accords ended the Bosnian civil war that November. It was the first time in four years that the guns were silent and the people of that beautiful city could celebrate by taking to the concert halls and cafés. I got pulled into a crowded car one night, heading for a party, and there was Bono. Our two-decade humanitarian friendship was launched.

The listers will be celebrated at a November 14 ceremony in Los Angeles, of which the official announcement says: “Tracee Ellis Ross will host a ceremony that recognizes Gwen Stefani, Simone Biles, the three women—Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi—who founded the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the Stanford sexual assault case survivor now know as ‘Emily Doe,’ Ashley Graham, Christine Lagarde, Nadia Murad, Miuccia Prada, and Zendaya.

Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.