© 2023 by MALAVIKA KANNAN.

malavikawrites@gmail.com

stories

Malavika is a nationally-recognized writer about identity, race, gender, Gen-Z, politics, and culture, and her essays for HuffPost, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, and elsewhere have earned millions of views. Currently, she's a staff writer for The Stanford Daily. Read selected clips below:

HUFF POST

"Women of color are the ultimate time travelers. We exist in so many places at once, present so many facades, knock on so many doors. But we also live a life where it’s sometimes impossible to exist as ourselves: trope-y, mediocre, imperfect."

Perfectionism Is A Myth, Unless You’re A Young Woman of Color

TEEN VOGUE

"There is no widely accepted Indian-American literary canon, so by existing as a writer, I am by default adding to it. Toni Morrison taught me the sanctity of this, of remembering and recording, of the political revolution inherent in defining my own identity."

How Toni Morrison Transformed Me as a South Asian Writer

 WashPost's 

the lily

 "I am refusing to live in the shadow of politeness. I’m reflecting on the ways that I used to mute myself, apologize and cave, while promising to do better. I am allowing myself to swell with anger, raise my voice and march through the nation’s capital until my feet hurt."

I'm Seventeen. Here's Why I'm Participating in the Women's March.

teen vogue

"I want to change the world because of my identity, not in spite of it. Every day, my melanin launches merciless war against a world that seeks to beat it down. There’s something inherently revolutionary about loving ourselves the way we are. It’s a hard battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting."

What Colorism Feels Like As An Indian-American Woman

teen vogue

"As Orlando — and the nation — awoke to the tragedy, forming lines around the block to donate blood and honor victims, Stephanie channeled her anguish the way she knew best: by getting her students through another day. A year later, she coached the dance team through a special performance honoring the 49 lives taken in the shooting."

For Pulse Shooting Survivor Stephanie Kersten, Dance Is a Source of Healing

HUFF POST

"I realized that I was also learning how to reclaim the name that had never truly fit. Just like I could hard-wire my brain to read in two languages, I could train myself to flourish in two countries. I might be a product of my ancestors, but I am also the speaker of my own name and shaper of my own future ― down to the last letter."

How Having A Name That Nobody Can Pronounce Taught Me Who I Really Am

HARPER'S BAZAAR

"I understood that there’s no point in preparing for death—all we can do is make the world as safe as possible while we’re still living. All we can do is go high, even as others go low. We can choose to march forward, demonstrate bravery, and honor those who have died by making change. And we will make change."

I'm Seventeen Years Old, And I'm Afraid For My Life

NYLON

"Pop culture often serves as a mirror to our political climate, and there's something natural, even digestible, about seeing white men exact devastating violence against women on TV—because that same story is playing out constantly in our society at large. Men are predators before and behind the camera: in fiction and nonfiction, on and off the screen."

When Will Women Get A Break from Hollywood's Serial Killer Obsession?

HUFf POST

"It’s crucial to always stand up for what you believe in, and when you have a passion, you run ― or in my case, walk ― with it. True activism requires thought and deliberation, not just anger. And at the end of the day, together we are stronger than any bullet."

I Led My High School's Walkout to Demand Gun Reform. Here's What I Learned.

teen vogue

"We’ve been raised in a terrifying world of lockdown drills, death tolls, and moments of silence and fear. Mass shootings aren’t new to us. But #MarchForOurLives is. Because for the first time, we’re not the victims of history — we’re its makers. And right now, journalism is our greatest weapon."

We're Teen Journalists, and We're Ending Gun Violence

 Young Arts

"After all, Columbia Heights is a place that lives best in art--in tangled, senseless sketches that manage to transform it into something resembling the American Dream. I think it’s the pinpricks of light from the subway tracks that first inspired me to paint. I wanted to capture all of that enigma, tuck it into a canvas, and save it for the future."

All The Yellow Suns (Novel Excerpt, Performed Live at 2019 YoungArts Miami)