Malala Yousufzai has been through a lot, hasn’t she? So to see her on the cover of British Vogue’s June issue did something to my heart. Here’s a young woman who was shot in the face, suffered facial paralysis and damaged muscles as a result (you can see it when she speaks or smiles), wears a dupatta on her head, dresses in Pakistani clothing — and she’s on the cover of Vogue. “Survivor, activist, legend” reads the caption.
Wearing a crimson dupatta draped gracefully over her head and shoulders, a matching crimson kamiz, the background is crimson – the color of blood, the color of love – and with one hand up to her face, right where her facial muscles droop as a result of her injuries. A slight smile, light brown eyes glowing, her skin neither artificially lightened nor fashionably tanned. Thick, untamed eyebrows.
The cover of fucking Vogue, bastion of supermodels, society women, movie stars and pop princesses. And there she is, a Pakistani woman, coming into her own. Most people consider it an honor to be on the cover of Vogue. In the case of Malala, Vogue is honored by her being on its cover.
She is, quite simply, herself. And that is the only accolade she needs.