Yara Shahidi Opens Up About Diversity in Hollywood

Yara Shahidi Opens Up About Diversity in Hollywood

Yara Shahidi looks stunning on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia‘s June 2018 issue! She’s also featured in a cover story written by Emily Baxter-Priest, which is out now.

Here’s what the 18-year-old Grown-ish star had to say…

On diversity in Hollywood: “I love being able to turn on the television and see everyone from Issa Rae to Constance Wu to Priyanka Chopra. It’s amazing, so I feel like we’re expanding with diversity. We’re saying it’s more than ethnicity, it’s religion, it’s sexuality, it’s all the intersections that make a human. It’s inspiring and it makes every piece of media more universal. At the same time, as an African-American-Iranian, well, we do have some ways to go. I have yet to receive a script for a half-Iranian character.”

On being an actress and finding a support system: “I think you have to approach the industry in the same way you would with anything, with a support network. Don’t go at it by yourself, there’s a lot to take in, you do fall prey. The idea that you’re supposed to figure out the best move for you is overwhelming. You need to gain guidance and have people that are there for you. I feel like Hollywood is a paradox because it thrives on authenticity but then you’re being paid not be yourself. It’s about finding your middle ground, about realizing [criticism] is not personal. You have to fine tune your craft and find your balance of being supportive of yourself.”

On not limiting herself: “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 realize 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.”

For more from Yara, visit HarpersBazaarArabia.com.

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Credit: Taylor Tupy; Photos: Harper's Bazaar Arabia
Posted to: Magazine, Yara Shahidi
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