Malala and Miley Cyrus
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and twerking superstar Miley CyrusReuters

They're incomparable really, Malala Yousafzai and Miley Cyrus.

One survived an unsuccessful Kalashnikov lobotomy by the Pakistani Taliban on her way to school, shot in the head for having the insolence to be an intelligent female trying to get an education.

A source of inspiration not just for other girls struggling against oppression elsewhere in the world, but for all of humankind. Before and after the attack she put in a serious amount of campaign work for girls' education. And now, at 17, she's the youngest-ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The other popularised twerking and has a large – and I will concede, impressively large – tongue. That's about it, really.

Which is not to knock Miley Cyrus. She does what she does and good luck to her, she's found fame and fortune. Also, her dad's Billy Ray Cyrus, and everyone loves Achy Breaky Heart, so that's another plus.

But the sorry truth is that in popularity stakes among teenage girls, the Miley versus Malala battle is a foregone conclusion. It's Game, Set and Match to Team Cyrus.

For reasons known only to psychologists, the public figures with the broadest appeal and admiration among young people are also some of the most base humans on the planet.

The Kardashians and their ilk suck attention in like a vacuum to fill the void that is their existence. And we give it to them! Funnelled in by the hose-load, mostly by teenage girls, only to have it sprayed back at them as merchandise. Sell, sell, sell your soul. Buy, buy, buy this product.

In complete contrast to these human brands, but in their shadows, stands Malala. Principled, smart, modest, articulate, worldly. All of the things we should aspire to be.

It's both uplifting and depressing to see Malala scoop the Nobel Peace Prize. Uplifting to see such courage and bravery and from someone so young, who slammed Hell's door back in the Taliban's face, being rewarded and paraded.

And depressing because for all the accolades, for all the world leaders' hands Malala will shake and speeches she will give in the forums of power, most of us will be watching Miley Cyrus twerk herself a hernia on the other channel.