LAST_UPDATETue, 19 Jun 2018 12am

Malala’s Jeans Trolls Should Look At Her Accomplishments Instead

An unverified image of Malala Yousafzai yesterday irked some netizens as she was (severely) criticised for her choice of outfit – donning a bomber jacket and skinny jeans during her first week at Oxford University, instead of her traditional outfit ‘salwar kameez’.

The photo published by Pakistan media, Siasat.pk on October 14 saw the Nobel laureate being subjected to hateful messages, so much so some have compared her to adult film actress, Mia Khalifa – despite Malala donning her traditional headscarf known as the ‘duppata.’

“She is the player of American game, I feel very embarrassed to say that she is Pakistani,” Yaseen Khan wrote.

“It’s not particularly important for men but women shouldn’t wear those tight jeans because they get exposed,” Shaiq Sirajuddin Shah commented.

“That was the reason the bullet directly targeted her head long time ago,” Mumtaz Usman stated.

While some have come to the 20-year-old’s defence, Mujtaba Hydar reminded netizens that her outfit does not overwrite her admirable accomplishments and urged them to focus on her successes rather than her fashion preference.

So, we did just that, to remind you why the internet trolls’ words have no weight to what a woman can or cannot do, and what to or not to wear.

1. Surviving Taliban Attack And Campaigning Girls’ Rights To Education

In 2012, Malala experienced a near-death encounter as BBC reported that she was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban for championing education for girls and against radicalism that plagued her homeland of Pakistan.

The bullet narrowly missed her brain, but the Swat Valley-native was urgently flown to United Kingdom to undergo intensive care following a successful surgery.


2. Establishing The ‘Malala Fund’

Further championing her cause, Malala and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai established the Malala Fund in 2013 to grant girls throughout the globe access to education.

ABC News reported that the first grant was used to fund 40 girls from Malala’s village aged between five and 12 to seek education at schools rather than working in domestic labour. She then relayed that she hopes to “turn 40 girls to 40 million girls.”


3. Co-Authored And Published An Autobiography

That same year, Malala published a memoir entitled, ‘I Am Malala,’ which was co-written with veteran British journalist Christina Lamb, that went on to be regarded as one of New York Times bestseller novels under the ‘Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction’ categories for two weeks.

As of 2016, Reuters quoted a spokesman from Nielsen Book Research that the book was sold over 1.8mi copies internationally and 287,170 copies in Britain alone.


4. The Youngest Recipient Of The Nobel Peace Prize

Malala’s endeavour earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, alongside Indian veteran children’s rights campaigner Kailash Satyarth, subsequently making her the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient to date, Times reported.

In a statement released by The Norwegian Nobel Committee, the then-17-year-old education activist and then-60-year-old Kailash was awarded “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”


5. She Has Her Own Day

In 2014, the United Nations also officially named July 12 ‘Malala Day’, however she said it was “not my day,” but a day for every woman, boy and girl struggling for their rights.

“I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many.I speak not for myself but for those without voice ... those who have fought for their rights -- their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated," she said while also asking world leaders to introduce “free, compulsory education” for all children across the globe.


6. An Advocate For Syrian Refugees

Last year, Malala urged world leaders to set aside over $USD1bil for educating Syrian refugees, and shared with Reuters that “We can still help them, we can still protect them. They are not lost yet.

“They need schools. They need books. They need teachers. This is the way we can protect the future of Syria.”

The young woman who silenced the United Nations audience in 2013 with her compelling speech reiterated that education is the right of every human being and hopes that she will inspire business leaders to take action to bring a better future for Syrian refugee children.


7. Went On A Girl Power Trip

In April of this year, the Pakistani lass went on a ‘Girl Power Trip’ to meet with women around the world after the United Nations appointed her as a UN Messenger of Peace.

NPR also reported that the Nobel laureate also met with key world leaders, such as France’s President Emmanuel Macron of France, to speak about increasing their investment in education, especially in regards to creating more opportunities for girls

8. A Future Oxford University Alumna

Earlier in August 2017, CNN reported that Malala was “so excited” after she received confirmation from the oldest university in the English-speaking world and continues to express her new hope in pursuing a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Malala is studying at Lady Margaret Hall, which was also attended by former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007.



Malala is undeniably a force to be reckoned with and at just 20 years of age, the woman who wears many hats as an activist, author, blogger, humanitarian and student is just beginning to leave her footprints in the sands of time.

So rather than critiquing the young lass for her outfit choices, let’s all instead “pick up our books and our pens, because they are the most powerful weapons,” to channel our energy for the betterment of the world.

- Malaysian Digest