To put it mildly, Malala Yousafzai is a dynamo. It was just over two years ago that Taliban gunmen shot her in the head as she rode to school — a life-altering moment for anyone. The difference is the way Malala got up and fought back.
Malala has used what happened to her to not only change herself but to change the world. Earlier this year, the University of King’s College in Halifax gave her an honorary doctorate in civil law. What happened to her didn’t weaken her, like the Taliban had likely hoped; rather, instead of being intimidated into silence, she spoke and continues to speak loudly, for females everywhere. She’s amazing, a force to be reckoned with.
You know who else is amazing? Kendall and Kylie Jenner. No, really. All three young women made Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014 list. The Jenner girls, 18 and 17, respectively, are just above Malala. But wait, wait, wait! It’s nothing to do with merit. The list is ordered from youngest to oldest and Kylie is a smidge younger than Malala.
While 17-year-old Malala became the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Time determined who made the cut by examining “social-media followings, cultural accolades and business acumen.” So while some have led “protests with global ramifications” and started “companies with funds they raised on Kickstarter,” others are social media, TV, movie, music and athletic darlings. Let’s just say the word “vast” doesn’t even begin to cover the spread in this list.
Take Kendall and Kylie, for instance. They’ve hosted awards shows and red carpet events. They have clothing and nail polish lines. They’ve even had a novel published (with a little help, of course). Kendall is a successful model while Kylie is an aspiring actress and entrepreneur, having launched a line of hair extensions. And who can forget their reality show career and their millions of Twitter and Instagram followers? Obviously (and sadly?) they are influential.
There is, of course, backlash about their position on the list but, hey, everyone on the list (including actors Chloë Grace Moretz, Jaden Smith and Kiernan Shipka; musicians Lorde, Austin Mahone and Becky G; and athletes Mo’ne Davis, Lydia Ko and Salma Kakar, among many, many, many other awesome teens) has accomplished and is recognized for different things, so no judgment. There’s no good or bad here, just diverse — which makes the list all the more… well, diverse. But let’s call a spade a spade here; if these teens were actually ranked, the Nobel Peace Prize winner occupies the number one spot on a list all her own. Make no mistake about it.