Lilly Singh Met Malala Yousafzai- And Plenty of #GirlLove Ensued!

Lilly Singh and Malala Yousafzai recently met each other, and it got us thinking about the massive campaigns they are sparking to make a difference in the lives of women worldwide.

Lilly and Malala met at an event in Italy hosted by Google. This event involved daily conversations with inspirational celebrities and activists. Discussions were based on current issues in today’s society, and initiatives that are working to tackle them. Some topics included female education, HIV/AIDS, and issues in the Middle East. Malala happened to be a speaker at one of these conversations, and Lilly met with her afterwards to talk about her own #GirlLove campaign and pose for a sweet picture.

Lilly posted this long and heartfelt caption about why she admires Malala, and about how we should all take responsibility for issues in our society today. She also talks about Malala briefly in her daily vlog, where she is almost speechless after hearing Malala speak.

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No caption will express the amount of gratitude and respect I have towards Malala. Today I had the pleasure of hearing her speak with such passion and confidence about education and female rights. I am so proud to be living in a time where women like Malala exude courage even in times of fear. It makes me realize that none of us have an excuse to not participate in the fight for humanity. We are all responsible for and affected by everything happening to our fellow humans around the world. We need to take ownership and use our voices. Issues surrounding women are not too large to fix, they aren't someone's else's problem and they affect every single person. It is simply unacceptable to view women's rights in any other way. It's your issue. It's my issue. Together, we must make a change. I am humbled to support the @malalafund through all my work with @spreadgirllove and look forward to thinking of new ways to make a difference. Please comment below and tell me your thoughts and ideas on how you think we can help the cause. We're in this together. #MalalaFund #GirlLove

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This is not the beginning of Lilly’s Girl Love initiative. It all started back in December 2015, when Lilly Singh had an idea that would change the world. Being a female, and especially one on the Internet, Lilly noticed that it had become normalized for women to insult and tear down other women. It was acceptable to shame other girls for literally anything- even just their clothes, hair, or makeup. Lilly decided that this shouldn’t be the cool thing to do. Why weren’t women building each other up instead of tearing each other down?

So, she created a campaign called #GirlLove. Lilly posted a video featuring a bunch of other female creators, which explained why supporting other women should be the norm. She then challenged her audience to exemplify Girl Love daily, by complimenting, supporting, and accepting other women, both online and offline. Lilly then decided to donate the proceeds of the video to the Malala Fund, which gives girls around the world access to an education.

However, the last thing Lilly wanted was for Girl Love to fade away after the video was posted. It is a campaign she genuinely believes in, and wants to support for the long run. She constantly mentions the message in her daily vlogs, and tweets her support of other females doing amazing things. At this point, it was not only Lilly supporting the cause. Her millions of fans got on board the movement, and the hashtag #GirlLove is always full of Lilly’s fans tweeting their love for each other and other women they want to support. It is a truly beautiful sentiment to witness.

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So, Lilly decided to turn Girl Love into something that will regularly feature on her YouTube channel. She launched a full-fledged version of the Girl Love campaign with this epic trailer.

These Girl Love episodes will feature a wide variety of female celebrities, with a game, challenge or skit in the episode. Each one will discuss a new aspect of Girl Love. The first episode, which featured the cast of Bad Moms, was focused on the stigmas surrounding motherhood, and how new mothers shouldn’t be expected to judge each other’s parenting. There are many more Girl Love episodes coming up, with special guests including Sabrina Carpenter, Amandla Stenberg and Bebe Rexha.

Malala also leads a powerful campaign in support of women’s rights. She grew up in Swat Valley, Pakistan, where the Taliban was constantly trying to prevent girls from going to school. Malala loved going to school, and started to speak out for the right to education by writing for a BBC blog under a pseudonym. She started to gain more attention worldwide for her courageous efforts, but unfortunately, the Taliban also took notice. On October 9th, 2012, Taliban members shot Malala and her friends while they were on their way home from school. Malala was in critical condition, but she survived the attack. She continued to let her voice be heard, by establishing The Malala Fund with her father in 2013. The goal of The Malala Fund is:

To bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education and to empower girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential and to demand change.

Malala went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, and used the prize money to fund a secondary school for girls in Pakistan. To this day, Malala stands by her cause, and is determined to ensure that every girl can receive a safe, free, quality education. Her wisdom and bravery has inspired millions of girls around the world to speak out for their right to education.

This meeting between Lilly and Malala has sparked a lot of hope in our hearts for the future of women’s rights. Lilly has sparked a massive online movement promoting love and acceptance of other women. Malala has advocated for women’s rights to education around the world, and has helped empower and inspire countless girls. If these two women were to collaborate sometime in the future, their efforts would multiply into something indescribable. In the end, they are both working towards the same goal: a safe, kind society where every women is accepted for who she is, and is able to unlock her full potential with the support of others.

Here’s how you can support Lilly and Malala’s wonderful campaigns.

Girl Love has its very own accounts on both Twitter and Instagram, @SpreadGirlLove. You can post your own message of positivity using #GirlLove, or, better yet, practice it in real life!

Malala’s website informs you of multiple ways you can make a difference. You can donate, take part in the #withMalala challenge, or start a fundraiser for the cause.

What are your thoughts on Lilly and Malala’s empowering campaigns? How will you make a difference? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Annemarie Cutruzzola

Canadian arts & culture writer and journalism student.