Yara Shahidi is young, Black Hollywood on the rise. The 16-year-old Black-ish star is building a successful career. In addition to juggling AP classes (currently she’s plunged herself into biochemistry classes), a tv series, appearing on other series (she plays a young Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal)…she can add model to the list.
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Yara has been signed to New York’s Women Management and now has a new outlet to dabble in for creative expression and impression. Her father is a photographer, so she’s been in front of the camera her entire life. While modeling is an opportunity to land many campaigns and covers, Yara is more focused on the opportunity to represent women of color in a space that we are not very visible.
“[Representation] is equally important within the modeling industry. We live with those ads, we follow the careers of our favorite models and support them because these images become a part of our culture. If I can add one more voice to the conversation, one more face to the spectrum, then I’ve accomplished something.”
While she’s open to the opportunities that come her way, she’s focused on balancing her love for fashion with her philanthropic efforts. Currently, she’s focused on encouraging young girls to get involved in STEM studies, “There is no reason that a girl should feel limited by the standards of other people,” Yara declares. She recently returned from the annual White House Science Fair where she made an appearance with Karlie Kloss.