Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Important Message to Women and Girls: "Forget About Likability"

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was honored at this year's Girls Write Now Awards, where the mentoring organization dedicated to helping underserved young women find their voices through writing celebrates the women who helped pave the way for the teen girls.

Adichie, who has authored award-winning novels such as Americanah andHalf a Yellow Sun, delivered a poignant and humorous short speech upon accepting her award, and imparted key words of wisdom on finding your voice as a young female writer.

"I think it's important to tell your story truthfully, and I think that's a difficult thing to do--to be truly truthful. Because it's only natural to be concerned about offending people or possible consequences," Adichie says in the speech. The writer goes on to share the advice she gives her young students, especially the girls, to "forget about likability."

"I think that what our society teaches young girls--and I think it's also quite difficult for even older women, self-confessed feminists, to shrug off--is the idea that likability is an essential part of the space you occupy in the world, that you're supposed to twist yourself into shapes to make yourself likable."

"That is bullshit," she says, to loud applause.

"If you start off thinking about being likable, you're not going to tell your story honestly," Adichie adds. "The world is such a wonderful, diverse, multi-faceted place, that there's going to be someone who likes you. You don't need to twist yourself into shapes."

Take a look at the speech below:

Photo: YouTube


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