Yara Shahidi is absolutely beautiful and brilliant as the Cover girl for the June 2018 of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. Yara stars as Zoey Johnson, the first child of Andre and Bow Johnson on ABC’s award winning show – Blackish, and recently – Grownish (which shows Shahidi in college).

Outside the shows, Shahidi has shown herself to be intelligent, knowledgeable and sensible. Traits that are even more evident in this interview. She embraces her bi cultural heritage, putting her predisposition for racial acceptance down to her Iranian and African-American roots. She discusses race, equity and inclusion boldly, embracing who she is and the experiences that have made her who she is.

She campaigns for equality, equity and education, emphasizing the importance of education in the actualization of these objectives. Education is crucial because I understand the privilege I’ve had in how particular education has been to me. My realm of possibility seems so much larger.”

18 year old Yara has such a firm grasp of who she is and can articulate exactly what it is that she stands for. She speaks on insecurities and barriers we often put on ourselves, saying “I’m learning and constantly reminding myself that while there are so many barriers connected to our identity, I have to be really cognizant to realise I’m not one of my own barriers, if that makes sense? There’s so much happening and whether you look at culture or politics there’s so much to deal with just to get through the day, so this year has been reminding myself that I shouldn’t be preventing myself or putting up barriers for myself. You’re self-critiquing in a way, and I find myself doing that and it’s really unnecessary in a world where people already tell us what we should and shouldn’t do.”

Yara is a bold, beautiful voice and she concludes the interview saying that the general sense that she wants to look back on almost anything she has done and not feel a sense of shame is what fuels her moving forward.

All Images, courtesy Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.

All Images courtesy, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.

See complete interview here.

Photography: Taylor Tupy
Executive producer: Ashumi Sanghvi at MAD Productions.
Producer: Christopher Sararo at MAD Productions.
Production assistant: Donovan Kosters.
Photographer’s assistants: Andres Norwood, Marco Collucci and Andrew Ngu.
Stylist: Andreas Kokkino at The Wall Group.
Stylist’s assistant: Patrick Rammelkamp.
Hair stylist: Nai’vasha Johnson at Exclusive Artists using Oribe Haircare.
Make-up artist: Emily Cheng.
Manicurist: Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty

Valerie Ekpo
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