Yara Shahidi is one of the most mutli-faceted, brilliant, and stunning young women that this generation has the opportunity to experience. From top to bottom, Black-ish to Grown-ish, acting to Harvard, Shahidi has remained who she is to the core, exuding the values that her parents instilled in her from birth. She doesn't sway from who she is, she's not into the chaos of Hollywood. And she stands firm to her goals, making her one of this generation's leading vocal ambassadors.
Vogue, who Shahidi has been featured in numerous times, took a trip to her house to learn more about her, via their popular series 73 Questions With..., which has also spotlighted some of our faves like Lizzo, Zendaya, and Michael B. Jordan.
They quizzed her on some of the most pressing questions, such as:
First person you spoke to [today]?
Are you more into lyrics or music?
You've been an actress since 6 weeks old?
Do you believe in 'love at first sight'?
And they even addressed the rumor of whether or not she has a tattoo inspired by Frank Ocean (btw the answer is yes and no, she got some because of him). But what stuck out most, was the question, "How would you define beauty?" She responded with a resounding:
"I try and un-define it, which may sound super broad, but that's the point because everything is to be beautiful."
Which got us to thinking, is she right? I mean, what is beauty really? I couldn't help but to dig in the archives and see how Yara has approached "beauty" with her platform in the past. So here's a list of the ways she has publicly crushed beauty standards throughout her career:
Yara posted a makeup-free selfie where she embraced her blemishes.
Imperfection is beauty and a part of redefining beauty by undefinining it is accepting the skin you're in in all states and all ways. While Yara has been known to stunt on magazine covers and on red carpets with an epic face beat, it doesn't take away from moments where she is makeup-free and experiencing hella blemishes. It might challenge beauty standards, but it's a commitment she is trying to live by.
"I have to actively remind myself to not sweat the details (aka the blemishes) and reframe it as a reminder to make sure I'm taking care of myself."
She made a big 2020 New Year's Resolution.
For the new year, Shahidi posted a picture on her Instagram with the caption:
"We (My hair and I) are taking up more space as we enter 2020."
In the pic, she dons no make up and frizzy hair to match her large golden hoops, making the profound statement that she has arrived as she is, and she's unapologetic AF about it. Siren emojis surrounds her statement, driving the nail in.
Yara partnered with Essie to preach the importance of finding, and being, yourself
In 2018, Shahidi curated a partnership with Essie for National Nail Polish Day. And even then, at a young 18, she used her platform to express the importance of her generation being who they are. She told E! News:
"I've learned to look at beauty as a creative outlet. Use makeup to express yourself rather than to cover yourself. This is why I gravitate towards louder colors — there's that feeling of taking up creative space when you go bold."
Yara removed her mustache on the 'Gram (before the Emmys).
Yara got closer to all of us by uploading a video of her removing her all-too-real lady 'stache for the entire world to see. She hilariously continued to show the actual maintanence it takes to get ready, by following up with a glowing, no-makeup selfie, checking her teeth for food, and rocking braids and a natural look for the virtual show.
Yara posed natural and un-retouched on the cover of 'Harpers Bazaar'.
For the August 2019 cover of Harper's Bazaar, Shahidi opened up about how she's using fashion and beauty to make a difference. She told People:
"True beauty is being unique, experimenting, exploring, sometimes unsettling. True beauty is expansive, is happiness. True beauty is my unibrow! I think we have a tendency to materialize beauty, and connect it with product. You should do whatever makes you feel good, and we're addressing beauty as not something that's even attached to a product, but as something that's attached to this overall feeling of support and confidence which we all get from different things."
Spoken like a true beauty, un-defined.
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Featured image by Yara Shahidi/Instagram
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Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
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Get To Know 'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story' Star India Amarteifio
Actress India Amarteifio has enchanted audiences with her captivating performance of a young Queen Charlotte in Netflix's latest hit Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
The limited series, a prequel to Bridgerton, follows the young queen as her marriage to King George of England causes a societal shift. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story debuted on Netflix earlier this month to rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
The show had left many in awe of the stars' portrayal of each character and its riveting storylines, so much so that it excelled in the streaming platform's top ten charts landing at number one when it premiered.
Since then, Amarteifio and her castmates have been trending on social media for various reasons. The list includes many sharing their remarks regarding the love story between Queen Charlotte and King George and social media users wanting to know more about the actors and actresses.
Although few details have been released about Amarteifio and her life, many would be surprised to know some uncovered facts about the star, unveiled recently during her promotional tour of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
India Was a Trained Dancer
Prior to focusing on acting full-time, Amarteifio was a trained dancer.
Marie Claire magazine reports Amarteifio --who grew up in England-- attended the Richmond Academy of Dance when she was 11. The following year, Amarteifio received a scholarship for Sylvia Young Theatre School. But the star's dancing journey would ultimately be cut short when she was 12 after sustaining a hamstring tear.
Amarteifio told L'Officiel what made her fully transition into acting, in addition to her injury, was that she was "constantly" falling ill. Amarteifio shared that because she loved "the acting element through dance," becoming an actress was a "natural" switch.
"I always wanted to dance. I went to performing arts school when I was 11 to 16. Then I really badly injured myself, and it made me question the industry and the lifestyle of something so reliant on my body," she said. "I constantly was getting injured and ill, and it made me look at the reality of the life of a dancer. I always loved the acting element through dance, so I made the natural transition that way. But I always wanted to perform—acting is just more of a newish venture."
India Started Acting Really Young
Despite Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story being Amarteifio's breakout role, the star has been a part of the entertainment industry since she was a baby.
In an April interview with Vogue magazine, Amarteifio revealed that she landed her first acting opportunity alongside her mother in a commercial for Vodafone when she was eight months old. A few years later, Amarteifio would land theater jobs, including The Lion King, where she played the role of young Nala, Matilda, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
"I was in a Vodafone advert with my mum when I was eight months old. I only found out about it the other day – she told me they did an open call and she just rocked up with me," she said." Growing up, I loved theatre and dance, and when I was nine, I auditioned for The Lion King in the West End. I did that for about a year, then moved on to Matilda, then Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Around that time, I got a scholarship to Sylvia Young Theatre School."
After Amarteifio's injury at 12 and fully deciding to pursue acting as a career choice, she would go on to get minor roles in Doctor Who, The Tunnel, and Sex Education.
"We had a careers evening when I was 14, and I started thinking, 'If I keep doing this, I'll have a short career.' So, I started focusing on acting and ended up getting small roles in Doctor Who, The Tunnel and Sex Education," she said.
India On Being Mixed Race And How She Related To Her Character
As the conversation shifted to how Amarteifio could relate to her Queen Charlotte character, the actress shared that because of her mixed background, she felt she could identify with the idea of not knowing where to "fit in."
Amarteifio's mother is white, while her father, who is Black. Further in the interview, Amarteifio recalled what it felt like being the "only person of color" to enter a room and compared those instances to Queen Charlotte's experiences early on in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
"I'm mixed race. I've got a white mum and my dad is Black – born in London, but with Ghanaian ancestry – so I can relate to her in terms of not really knowing where you fit in. I know what it's like to walk into a room and have everyone look at you because you're the only person of color. There are so many scenes, especially early on in the series where Charlotte does exactly that," she stated. "In those moments, you feel alone and awkward, and it can be uncomfortable to talk about it, but by writing those scenes, Shonda's starting that conversation and showing people that they aren't alone."
India Prepared For Queen Charlotte: A Briderton Story By Watching The Crown
Earlier this month, Amarteifio opened up about how she prepped for her starring role in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
In an interview with Bustle, the actress disclosed that she binged-watch Netflix's The Crown to get another perspective on being a royal. Amarteifio also shared that her co-star Corey Mylchreest suggested it after they were informed that they would be doing a coronation scene.
"Corey [Mylchreest] actually recommended [that I] watch The Crown because we were doing the coronation scene [in Queen Charlotte]. In Season 1 [of The Crown], the Queen is going through a coronation, and it was interesting to see how that was done—because it's a ritual, it's a very similar experience, and to see the behind-the-scenes elements that they showed in The Crown was actually helpful," she explained.
Amarteifio also mentioned that portraying Queen Charlotte and watching The Crown helped her understand the royal family more as people.
"I definitely understand the royal family more, in the sense of knowing who people are in relation to other people—that's because when I was filming, I binge-watched The Crown. So I feel like I know them all. I know their secrets," she said. "But [Queen Charlotte] didn't give me any further insight into them because we don't delve into that. We're taking from history, but we're retelling it."
India On How The Queen Charlotte Role Impacted Her
In the same interview, Amarteifio provided details about how portraying the role of Queen Charlotte positively impacted her life.
Amarteifio stated that before taking the role of Queen Charlotte, she was often nervous to ask questions out of fear that she would "rock the boat." Still, after playing the character, the star started opening up more because she realized that even if she didn't receive any answers, it made situations much easier to handle.
"I see her as a very different entity. [But] not being embarrassed or afraid of asking questions is probably one of the things that I took away, because she asks questions and gets answers. Sometimes she doesn't get answers, but at least she tried. Sometimes I feel like I'm a bit nervous to ask questions or rock the boat — but actually, it just makes things easier," she stated.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is now streaming on Netflix.
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Feature image by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images