Betty’s New Year’s Countdown
The 10 Most Fascinating Women of 2008
From Sarah Palin to Tina Fey
-The Betty Editors
1. Sarah Palin
Pit bull with lipstick, governor grandma, love her or hate her, you have to admit – Sarah Palin captured everyone’s attention this year. Her acceptance speech and her debate performance was watched by millions and millions. Even those who didn’t want her a heartbeat from the President conceded she was a babe with great political skills. And, you betcha, we have not heard the last of her.
2. Michelle Obama
An American Dream girl. She’s been labeled everything from over-bearing to a throw-back (putting her career on hold to support her husband on the campaign trail and care for her daughters). She’ll of course be our first ever African American first lady, and she certainly seems to have the strength and grace to withstand the scrutiny that will be trained on her and her family for at least the next four years. For now – we can’t wait to see what she wears to the Inauguration!
3. Hillary Clinton
She may never be Madame President (… but Madame Secretary of State is nothing to sneeze at). Even her detractors have to admit – the brilliant Hillary Clinton is a study in never-give-up, a lesson in dogged determination. We’ve known her since her first year as our super-smart yet somehow awkward first lady – she sure broke the mold. She famously stood by her man, yet put those 13 million cracks in the glass ceiling. We’ve seen her tackle universal health care (and fail), go though more hairstyles and pantsuits than Career Barbie, cry on camera, and now, be appointed to the Cabinet of the man she tried to beat to the Presidency.
4. Meredith Whitney
First they called her a “money honey” (one of the pretty young things trotted out to make financial news watchable) – now they call her the “Dollar Dominatrix.” Whatever her nickname, this financial super-star is best known as the woman who called the economic crash in October of 2007. Too bad no one seemed to listen – at the time. A managing director at Wall Street bank The Oppenheimer (OPY), the beautiful, ballsy blond is – incongruously – married to professional wrestler John Layfield. Layfield’s WWF cred came in handy when she needed him to escort her to and from her office – telling the cold hard truth on Wall Street doesn’t exactly make you Miss Popularity. Whitney has become such a sought-after speaker that she now has an agent, and it’s said that a word from her can wipe out millions of dollars in share values. Who says girls aren’t good at math?
5. Stephenie Meyer
From observant Mormon housewife to Vampire-literary sensation … does it get any more interesting that that? She doesn’t drink or smoke or watch R-rated movies. She wrote the first book (the idea of which came to her in a dream) in three months while caring for three kids under age 5. People of all ages dress up as her characters, her book-signings are mobbed, and the fansite Twilight Moms has hundreds of thousdands of members. We can’t wait to see what she dreams up next.
6. Tyra Banks
Surely the most beautiful entertainment mogul ever. Another teetotaler, Tyra somehow has her perfectly manicured fingers firmly on the pop-culture pulse of the nation. The model-actress-singer-businesswoman shows no sighs of stopping and we can’t take out eyes off her whether she wears size 2 or size 12.
7. Nastia Liukin
You know who she is! That adorable gymnast who looks more like a ballerina – tall, graceful and sweet as apple pie. Liukin, who brought five Olympic medals home from Beijing, was just named Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation. Of course – gymnastics runs in the family. Born in Russia to two professional gymnasts, Liukin’s family immigrated to the US when she was 2 – making her yet another American dream success story. She plans to perform in the world championships in London. After that – who knows? She’s expressed interest in becoming an actress … and she has a Visa commercial and plenty of TV appearances under her belt already.
8. Rachel Maddow
There’s something about Rachel Maddow that makes her so watchable. Sure she’s brilliant and well-spoken – not to mention the first openly gay anchor to host a prime time news show – but there’s more to it. Perhaps it’s the unique combination of those beautiful Judy Garland eyes, her rapier wit, and the fact that she dresses like a 10-year-old boy off the set. She defies categorization.
9. Britney Spears
Train wreck, pop princess, has-been, next big thing … again. Britney called 2008 her “crazy year” in a recent interview … ain’t that the truth. No matter what she does, we can’t help rooting for her. And no matter how crazy she gets, we’ll never get tired of watching her.
10. Tina Fey
Does Tina Fey owe much of her recent superstardom to her doppleganger Sarah Palin? Perhaps. No matter what the cause, 2008 was the year that took Tina Fey into the comedic stratosphere. With her sexy librarian glasses and come-hither cleavage, Fey makes funny as well as all – and better than most – of the funny boys. Brains, beauty, and a keen eye for political satire. Now that’s something to laugh about.