E!’s Giuliana hosts a night of girl power in NYC

via AP

A few days before Sex and the City: The Movie celebrated the most successful opening of a chick flick ever, distinguished members of the fairer (and as Samantha Jones might say, the more fabulous) gender celebrated being chicks at the 2008 Gracie Awards. Specifically, they gathered at NYC’s Mariott Marquis to honor the year’s best and most realistic portrayals of women in the media and entertainment, as well as those individuals who would make Helen “I am woman/Hear me roar!” Reddy proud. Cue trailblazing gals like Gayle King, Miley Cyrus, Heroes’ Ali Larter, and Mary J Blige.

E! News Daily anchor Giuliana DePandi Rancic (that’s right, girlfriend is married to Apprentice winner Bill) hosted this year’s Gracies, which are named for the late George Burns’ iconoclastic other half, a comedienne, star, activist, entrepreneur and mother.

Giuliana was self-deprecating on stage, cracking wise about her influence as an entertainment journalist who breaks such important news stories as Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo’s split (if that’s even true), and the OMG! price increase of In Touch to $3.49.

But really, Giuliana needn’t have been so humble: Prior to E!, she reported at the White House and the Pentagon, and in 2006 she authored the dating-advice book “Think Like a Guy: How to Get a Guy by Thinking Like One.”

Off-stage, Giuliana told CGG: “I think I’ve empowered [women] to go after what they want. When I came to America [from Naples, Italy], I was a little girl, I didn’t speak English. I would watch TV and say, I want to do that job." Her advice to young women? “Do as much school as you can.” After high school, Giuliana enrolled at the University of Maryland and received a B.A in journalism, and later a masters' degree in the same subject from the American University in D.C.

One of our favorite things about Giuliana? She’s a big supporter of Operation Smile, an org that funds surgeries for children born with facial deformities. “It’s great. For X-amount of money you can see exactly where your money’s going. Your donation goes to a kid’s surgery, so you see the before and after picture of what you’ve done for this child.”

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