In the last couple of weeks, both Lena Dunham and Malala Yousafzai have been offered book deals to put pen to paper and tell us their tales. What’s even more compelling is that both were offered $3 million to tell us their stories. While many may have a problem with the monetary value placed on their stories, both of these ladies are the leading voices of the millennial generation.
Undoubtedly, Lena Dunham comes from a privileged background and doesn’t need the money. But Dunham has managed to push the envelope and has a knack for shining the light on many issues our generation faces. Whether you are a fan of her hit drama Girls or not, Dunham has dared to go places not many writers and directors want to address on television. She’s openly put her personal life on screen and exposed her problems (like her struggle with OCD) on the show.
Through her documentaries she has managed to put the 20-something-lost-and-confused-liberal-arts-major-what-am-i-suppose-to-do with-myself-after-college stage in the spotlight. These generational issues often are snubbed or ignored by many writers and directors.
As millennial, we are coming into one of the toughest job markets with an over saturation of qualified applicants. Was it poor planning to study English and hope to become a successful author? Only Dunham has dared to try to answer that question and even share her journey as she travels the same road.
By contrast, Malala Yousafzai is a representation of the very real global issues we are still combating. Sure, her struggle and perseverance is inspiring, but it also serves, as a reminder that education and basic rights are still an issue for women around the world. Her story is also an excellent reminder that age and money are just numbers and often used as an excuse by many to not take a stand on important issues. Also, her story will be a first hand account of the important historic events our generation lived through.
Women are the leading and defining voices of the millennial generation. Both Dunham and Yousafzai come from very different worlds, but that’s what the millennial generation is all about. Our generation is compromised of so many different stories and experiences but because of technology we have all become a part of each other’s journeys. Yousafzai has sparked movements because of our generation’s continued fascination and obsession with the Internet. Yousafzai is inspiring other women to step forward and to rightfully claim what is theirs. Dunham continues to win awards because she writes about what she knows and puts on TV.
Does one person have more merit and a better story to tell? No one can really be the judge of that. The book industry is onto something. Both ladies have celebrity statuses for very different reasons, however they have a message to share that is unique and special to our generation.