Malala Yousafzai, political activist and the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, will star on British Vogue’s July cover.
The cover story was written by journalist Sirin Kale, who recently broke the story with fellow Guardian journalist Lucy Osborne of multiple allegations of sexual harassment and bullying against BAFTA award-winning actor Noel Clarke.
Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor, wrote:
“When it comes to people I admire, Malala Yousafzai is right at the top. At 23, the world’s most famous university graduate has already lived so many lives.”
“It’s hard to believe it was only a decade ago that she was a young teenager with a passion for learning, living in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled Swat Valley, blogging about her experience for the BBC, and giving a voice to girls denied the right to learn. A near-fatal attempt on her life in 2012 – or what she calls “the incident” – brought her to Britain for specialist surgery. But she didn’t stop there.”
“In the years since, Malala – her renown is such that only one name is required – has taken the indescribable fear of her early life and turned it into a message that resonates around the world.”
Vogue’s recent shift away from profiling almost exclusively singers, actors, and models, has been exemplified throughout their various publications. US Vogue had their infamous cover of Vice-President Kamala Harris in February, and celebrate National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman in May. The publication also pushed traditional gender binaries last year, when they featured singer Harry Styles on their cover wearing a dress.
Earlier this month, Vogue Scandinavia – which will begin publication in August – hired model, blogger, health professional and activist Rawdah Mohamad as fashion editor. Mohamed gained increased viral prominence earlier this year when she started the #handsoffmyhijab campaign.
In the cover story by Kale, Malala discussed her time at the University of Oxford, which she graduated from last year, and the existential fears that plague basically every 23 year old: “Where do I live next? Should I continue to live in the UK, or should I move to Pakistan, or another country? The second question is, who should I be living with?”
“Should I live on my own? Should I live with my parents? I’m currently with my parents, and my parents love me, and Asian parents especially, they want their kids to be with them forever.”
The story also revealed Malala’s interest in storytelling, particularly through the medium of TV. In March, she signed a partnership with AppleTV+, and their new production company Extracurricular.
“I want these shows to be entertaining and the sort of thing I would watch,” she said.
“If I don’t laugh at them or enjoy them, I won’t put them on-screen.”
“I also wonder, if a woman in a valley in Pakistan had made South Park, what would that look like?”
Featured Image: Nick Knight, British Vogue/Twitter, @Malala