Gloria Steinem remains one of the most outspoken and visible symbols of the women’s movement today. Gloria: In Her Own Words blends interviews of Steinem in her Manhattan apartment, archival footage, photographs from throughout her life and clips from press interviews over the years. Among those interviewing Steinem in the film are Barbara Walters, Helen Gurley Brown, Phil Donahue and Larry King. The documentary also features archival footage of such prominent women’s movement figures as National Organization for Women (NOW) co-founder Betty Friedan, congresswoman Bella Abzug and civil rights advocate Flo Kennedy.
Steinem became the public face of the women’s rights movement, participating in marches, making media appearances and also weathering the inevitable backlash, feeling she had to work twice as hard to not be judged by her looks. Indeed, Steinem would become almost as well-known for her distinct style as for her political activism, remembering that her streaked blonde locks were inspired by the character Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Her signature aviator glasses were about concealment, she reveals, saying, “The bigger they were, the more I felt I could hide behind them.”