+

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 Yousafzaifamily 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.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Artist captures how strangers react to her body in public and it's fascinating

Haley Morris-Cafiero's photos might make you rethink how you look at people.

Credit: Haley Morris-Cafiero

Artist Haley Morris-Cafiero describes herself on her website as "part performer, part artist, part provocateur, part spectator." Her recent project, titled "Wait Watchers" has elements of all her self-descriptors.

In an email to us, Morris-Cafiero explained that she set up a camera in the street and stood in front of it, doing mundane activities like looking at a map or eating gelato. While she's standing there she sets off her camera, taking hundreds of photos.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom's praise of audiobooks 'post-baby' has parents sharing how it changed their lives

'Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.'

Canva/Twitter

Let people read however they can.

Not too long ago, it seemed like you could only be loyal to one team—team “physical books” or team “e-readers.” There was no neutral territory.

That debate might have dwindled, but it echoes on as people take a stand on physical books versus audiobooks, which have become increasingly popular—nearly half of all Americans currently pay for an audio content subscription, and the average adult in the U.S. listens to digital audio for a little over an hour and a half each day, 28% of that being spoken word. Audiobooks had a particularly big surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, as listeners found the activity more comforting and satisfying than a regular book while under quarantine.

You’d think that the general mindset would be “reading in any form has great benefits, so do whatever you want!” But alas, humans do find odd hills to die on.

Keep ReadingShow less