Completely unnecessary. And a little bit icky.
I’ve been seeing it a lot on my Facebook feed lately. Shared around as a generally condemnation of how shallow we all are in our media consumption habits. And how especially shallow one young woman is. It’s this post:
Oh! Such a great point! Why WAS only one of those things reported as breaking news? Doesn’t that say something awful about us all?
Well… No. I’m sorry. No it doesn’t.
Of all the things Malala Yousafzai has done, turning 18 is just about the least remarkable and commendable. Malala’s birthday is not news in much the same way Nelson Mandela’s birthdays were not news, or Jeremy Corbyn’s or Angela Merkel’s.
Nelson Mandela made news by fighting to end apartheid. Jeremy Corbyn is making news for becoming the most left wing leader the UK Labour Party has seen in a lifetime, and Angela Merkel makes news for setting economic agendas, and agreeing to open Germany’s borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees.
Malala Yousafzai makes news by winning the Nobel Peace Prize. She makes news by opening schools in refugee camps so that young women fleeing the conflict in Syria can get access to education.
In other words, she makes news through her actions and her achievements.