8 inspiring quotes from Malala's new film prove she's a total badass.

Malala Yousafzai is an ordinary girl with extraordinary bravery.

If you didn't know any better, you might mistake Malala Yousafzai for a normal teenager.

She can't keep the grin off her face when Googling photos of Roger Federer — giggling when saying she likes his haircut — and she has strong opinions about both pizza and Bella from "Twilight." She patiently teaches her digitally-challenged dad how to use "the Twitter," but gets under his skin when she's late for breakfast, too.

"Come, Malala, come!" he yells from the kitchen. "What's the problem?"


Malala faces (and beats) her younger brother Khushal in an arm wrestling match. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, used with permission.

In fact, if you aren't aware of Malala's backstory before watching the new documentary, "He Named Me Malala," which is all about her amazing life, I'd guess you'd even mistake her for an everyday 18-year-old — not a human rights leader championing her cause on the world stage.

Malala's story is incredible.

In case you don't know much about the girl who stood up against the Taliban (and won), here's a quick explainer.

Malala was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban in 2012 while riding a bus to school in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Why? Because she was a girl who was outspoken about why she, and girls like her, deserved access to education. It's really that simple.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, used with permission.

Remarkably, she survived the attack. And now, she's become an even bigger nightmare for the religious extremists, having created the Malala Fund — an organization that advocates for girls' education around the world — and continuing to draw global attention to her cause. (Reminder: She's 18.)

While the film explores several aspects of her life, I thought the most compelling takeaway was how Malala could be both so seemingly ordinary, yet say and do such extraordinary things.

Here are eight quotes from the movie "He Named Me Malala" that prove just how much of an iconic, heroic badass she is.

Photo by Caroline Furneaux, courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, used with permission.

1. The Taliban can try, but they won't silence her.


"I have the right to sing. I have the right to go to market. I have the right to speak up. I will get my education — if it is at home, in school, or any place. They cannot stop me." — Malala


If actual bullets couldn't stop her, can you expect scare tactics to? Despite the Taliban's threats to kill Malala one day (her family moved to the U.K. to help protect her in the shooting's aftermath), one consistent theme throughout the film is Malala's fearlessness in promoting children's access to education. The Taliban can say and do whatever they want — they won't silence her.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, used with permission.

2. She's on the Yousafzai family tree. And that's a big deal.

"No woman was mentioned. Only men were there. I took the pen, [drew] a line, and [wrote] 'Malala.'" — Ziauddin Yousafzai, on including Malala's name on the family tree

Malala's father, Ziauddin, was an educator and vocal advocate for women's rights in his native country long before Malala was shot in 2012. In the film, he explains how he wrote Malala's name on the family tree, which dates back about 300 years. No other woman's name was included before that — a symbolic reflection of how women are valued in many regions of the world.

Malala and her father, Ziauddin. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, used with permission.

3. She refuses to let anger get the best of her.

"All this time, you've never felt angry?"

"No. Not even as small as an atom. Or maybe a nucleus of an atom. Or maybe a proton. Or maybe a quark." — Malala

If you're a member of the Taliban, your ego must be hurting by this point. Because Malala not only doesn't fear you, she doesn't care enough to be angry with you either.

When asked by an interviewer in the film if she's ever been upset with the Taliban for their attempt to killer her, she responded "no" without hesitation and explained that her Muslim faith has taught her "humanity, equality, [and] forgivingness."

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, used with permission.

4. She challenges gender expectations.

"Sometimes [my mother, Toorpekai] says, 'Don't shake hands with men. Look down, look down, don't look at men — it's a shame.' And I say, 'If a man can look at me, why can't I look at them?'" — Malala

It becomes evident in the film that Malala's mother, Toorpekai Yousafzai, has more traditional Islamic values when it comes to gender than her daughter does. But it hasn't stopped Malala from questioning why one gender should be treated as if they're less than the other.

Although it's easy to praise Malala's progressiveness and frown upon Toorpekai's old school ways, it's also worth noting that Toorpekai has been loving and supportive of her daughter's mission to promote girls' education. She even made the commitment to learn how to read and write herself as an adult.

Malala's mother, Toorpekai Yousafzai (right), next to Malala's two brothers, Atal Yousafzai (center), and Khushal Yousafzai (left). Photo by Heiko Junge/AFP/Getty Images.

5. She hangs around with A-listers ... but still has to study.

"Some people think, 'Malala is lucky — she's now with Hillary Clinton, she's with Bono, she's with rock stars.' But on the other side, I get homework as well." — Malala

The fact Malala has remained committed to her own schoolwork (did you see her GCSE test scores?!) even while palling around with world leaders proves she clearly walks the walk when it comes to learning.

Photo by Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images.

6. She refuses to give up — especially when times get tough.

"It is so hard to get things done in this world. You try and too often it doesn't work. But you have to continue. And you never give up." — Malala

One of Malala's more sobering remarks came amid the film's coverage of Boko Haram's kidnapping of Nigerian school girls and the children refugee crisis in Syria — two world events Malala helped shine a light on.

“I'm still 17 — I'm still a teenager," Malala says in the face of such despair. "What should I do? How can I help?"

But, despite the overwhelmingly tragic circumstances, she's committed to fighting for justice. The cameras follow her to West Africa, where she meets with the Nigerian president to pressure him into prioritizing the kidnapped girls' protection, and she travels to the Syrian-Jordan border, where she aids refugees to safety.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, used with permission.

7. She has great admiration for her father.

"One thing that I notice in my father — even if he stammers for one minute, he will try to say that word. He never stops. If you have a stammer, you can just stop it, and you can say another word instead. But my father never does that." — Malala

The special bond between Malala and her father is clear throughout the entire film. When questioned about his stammer — which hasn't prevented him from giving speeches publicly — Malala explains how his refusal to let his speech affect his activism has been a source of inspiration to her.

Photo by Caroline Furneaux, courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, used with permission.

8. Not everyone loves her name. But she does.

"When I was little, many people would say, 'Change Malala's name. It's a bad name. It means sad.' But my father would always say, 'No, it has another meaning — bravery.'" — Malala

Malala is named after Malalai of Maiwand — a 19th century Anglo-Afghan war hero who inspired Afghan troops during a battle against the British. To some, the name conjures negative connotations. But Ziauddin Yousafzai always had a different take on the name, and it couldn't be a more accurate description of his heroic daughter.

Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images.

Are you inspired by Malala? Here's how you can support her work.

Stand #WithMalala by spreading her message on social media using the hashtag, and learn more about how you can promote education in Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and beyond on the The Malala Fund's website.

"He Named Me Malala" is now playing in theaters nationwide. Check out the film's trailer below.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
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When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Ronny Tertnes' "liquid sculptures" are otherworldly.

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Norwegian artist Ronny Tertnes does just that. His "liquid sculptures" look like something from another planet or another dimension, while at the same time are entirely recognizable as water droplets.

I mean, check this out:


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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
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The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

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To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

The scarf, a simple accessory that some find an essential fashion piece. Both fashionable and function with the warmth they provide, scarves can be a valuable gift for any occasion or person. Here, we've selected our best selling scarves from our store. At Upworthy Market, when you purchase a product, you directly support the artisans who craft their own products, so with every purchase, you're doing good. These scarves are not only unique, but they are hand-made by local artisans and all under $30.

1. Fair Trade Woven Dark Gray Alpaca Blend Scarf

Celinda Jaco selects a cozy blend of Andean alpaca for this handsome men's scarf. Classic in style, it features fine stripes of white and black woven through the dark grey textile. Hand-tied fringe completes a distinguished design.

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For parents, handling a 2-year-old's 2-year-oldness can be a challenge. You can't rationalize with them. You know they're not being little toddler terrors on purpose. You know that they're just learning and that it's a stage and a phase that won't last forever, but when you're in it? Phew.

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