At Glamour’s annual Women of the Year Awards last night (Nov. 11), Lady Gaga admitted she didn’t feel she was worthy of donning this year’s cover.
The singer, whose latest album, ARTPOP, told the crowd at New York’s Carnegie Hall that Malala Yousafzai, who was also being honored at the awards, deserved the cover telling the crowd, “If I could forfeit my Glamour cover I would give it to Malala.”
The Pakistani teen became an inspirational figure after the Taliban shot her in the head last year for criticizing the group’s interpretation of Islam and limiting women’s access to education. Since recovering from her gunshot wound, the 16-year-old Yousafzai, who was up for a Nobel Prize, has made it her mission to make sure other girls voices are heard.
According to Politico, Yousafzai–who recently launched the Malala Fund to support female education and released her memoir, I Am Malala–stole the spotlight at last night’s event, telling the crowd during her speech, “I believe the gun has no power at all. I believe the gun has no power because a gun can only kill. But a pen can give life.”
Gaga also used her speech to send a message about what she would like her legacy to be. “My true talent is not the clothes, and not the music. I really feel that what I am best at is seeing the potential in other people,” she said.
Mother Monster talked about her anti-bullying stance, mentioning a fan who committed suicide and urging parents to pay attention to their kids: “Do you really know how your child feels when they are home at night?”
Gaga also made sure she let the crowd know that her Glamour cover was touched up quite a bit, something she detailed more in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Though she is known for her unique style, Gaga admitted she has never thought of herself as beautiful. “I was never really treated as, or felt, conventionally beautiful, especially in the beginning of my career,” she said. “So to be put on the cover of Glamour, looking so conventionally beautiful, it’s sort of shocking.”
Though she admitted it was a bit off-putting to see herself all done up, she hopes to send a message to other young women.
“In order to help young people to understand that they don’t have to put so much pressure on themselves to look so perfect all the time, they should know that a whole lot of money and time went into that shoot,” she said. “I don’t look like that when I wake up in the morning.”
Last night’s ceremony also honored former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, costume designer Catherine Martin, Kerry Washington, Ethiopian model and health advocate Liya Kebede, Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Net-a-Porter Natalie Massenet, surfer Carissa Moore, Barbra Streisand and philanthropist Melinda Gates.