Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, best-selling author and famed TED-talker, has some thoughts on aiming to please: specifically, don’t do it.

GirlsWriteNow recently honored Adichie, along with Juju Chang and Pamela Paul. At the event, Adichie made some comments, both powerful and empowering, about writing as a female.


The message? Forget likability.

Adichie said that young girls, but also women, acutely feel the burden of pleasing others. Whether this leads girls to censor their ideas or to not write them down at all, it’s a loss.


Adichie’s feminism doesn’t come as a surprise. Her novels, all highly acclaimed, explore Adichie’s Nigerian roots and the implications of female-ness in that context. She also wrote a non-fiction work called We Should All Be Feminists and delivered a TED talk with the same title.

Though the speech was aimed at young creatives, her words clearly apply for anyone, anywhere, doing anything. Essentially, “do you.”

Watch the full speech below: