18-year-old ABC sitcoms BLACK-ish and GROWN-ish star YARA SHAHIDI is the June2018 covers story for HARPER'S BAZAAR: ARABIA!!!
Here are some interview interludes:
On her IRANIAN-AFRICAN AMERICAN heritage:
“Being multicultural, you can’t help but be interested and connected to the world around you. My family is from all over the world, so how can you not care for people around the world too? My baba was born in Iran and I come from a beautiful matriarchy on both sides of my family, which I adore. My Iranian relatives have reaffirmed the idea that the sky is the limit – but in fact, my cousin proved that the sky isn’t even the limit because she went to space!”
ANOUSHEH ANSARI the first IRANIAN AMERICAN and first FEMALE PRIVATE SPACE EXPLORER is her cousin.
“I hit the cultural jackpot in terms of food, but what’s fascinating is that as different as both sides may seem, they’re really similar. How we operate, our moral code, who we are in general, being close to family, respect... It’s really universal in a way that blurs both sides. I don’t see much of a ‘this is my black side and this is my Iranian side’, because I come from a family of socially-engaged humans, and it’s hard to identify because of how similar both sides are. But I have to say, I was at the Met Gala recently and I saw a pomegranate and I proceeded to cut it open and serve pomegranate to people at my table. That’s pretty Iranian,”
On growing up on a strong Iranian community in MINNESOTA and the culture shock of moving to CALIFORNIA:
“Everyone in my community in Minnesota who spoke Farsi, I was related to, so when I moved to California I thought the same applied and thought I had so many aunts because I didn’t realise that other people knew Farsi outside of my family. But then I realised it didn’t matter – when you meet someone from Iran, or someone who has visited Iran, or who has ties to Iran, there’s a sense of belonging. Whether you’re walking down Fairfax in LA... There’s a strong sense of community wherever I go.”
On as she approaches enrolling at HARVARD in the coming fall, how she has developed her philosophy on learning and education:
“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. In the broader sense of the word, this last year has been so much about learning and growing, so I’ve been a student of many teachers this year, especially my parents. I’ve been receptive to learning and receptive to the world around me. Also entering my adulthood has meant there have been moments that I’ve had to learn from and continue exploring – it’s required me to learn new skills.”
On how she approaches to entertainment industry:
“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,” she says. “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.
On how she quantifies her own feminist beliefs:
“A belief in equity and equality, for both genders, and about getting rid of the hierarchy. I do classify myself as a feminist but in that same conversation we realise that women’s liberation looks different in different women. So it’s about being inclusive. It’s not saying ‘this is what a liberated woman looks like’,
it’s about a conversation that each woman chooses for themselves.I can only speak for myself, but I think it really goes back to that idea of being in a community with one another. Being able to support, because we have to be ourselves and represent ourselves and support one another.
It’s about globalism and expanding our view of what community is and realising how universal our experiences are and embracing those aspects of ourselves that help us realise how similar we are to people both in our city and an ocean away.”