If you thought it was difficult to get that work/life/love balance on lock navigating through adulting as a twenty- or thirty-something, imagine what life is like for someone like Yara Shahidi. The 17-year-old not only slayed her role on Black-ish (and secured the bag with her own spin-off, Grown-ish), but also consistently speaks out about feminism, black representation in the media, and other worldly matters. She's woke, she's confident, and she's self assured AF. And as we all know (some of us all too well), a sense of self-assuredness is enough to make any potential bae intimidated.
As dope as Yara is, I know I'm not the only one who wonders - does homegirl date? And if she does, what kind of guy would catch her eye? Would he have the charisma and undeniable charm of British transplant John Boyega or would he have the edge of a Chris Brown?
I'm picturing a mysterious wunderkind that's a hybrid of Barack Obama but with a successful rap career and royal lineage. Last minute date nights in Paris and a text back game we can't even imagine - this guy would have to come with his strongest game to impress our favorite little sis. No time for loose raps.
In this case, we may never know Yara's type - or at least, not for some time. In her latest interview with Seventeen, the Harvard-bound actress made it clear she isn't even thinking about these boys right now:
“I haven't dated anybody. My general outlook is if I don't have time to take a bath on a regular basis, then I don't have time for another human. I love being busy, and I enjoy where I am at right now."
Um, say what? To be so young, she has a good grasp of something some women twice her age are still trying to figure out. If you don't have room in your life for the basics of self-care, what could you possibly offer to someone in a relationship? Okay Yara, spit knowledge!
Yara also gave us some insight on where she cultivated her sense of self-assuredness. The work lies in owning and honoring yourself. For her, that means embracing the things that remind her of where she comes from and why she deserves to take up space.
"I feel like my curls have always been a part of who I am. They are a very real representation of the mix of my two cultures. When you're a part of a minority of any kind, you're told not to take up much space, but my hair does that, so there's nothing I can do except take up space with it. It gives me confidence."
The recent high school grad doesn't give the future too much power over how she lives her life in the present. The Grown-ish actress is in no rush to grow up, which could explain her commitment to remaining focused on building a full life that she loves - sans a man.
“I'm enjoying time as a kid—I've learned to appreciate the age that you are, because it disappears. There are perks to being a teen too. It comes with the freedom to explore and the freedom to have a valid opinion about the world—and to evolve it—and have people listen to you."
The unapologetic activist also shared her love for history and how that passion ultimately led to her path to activism.
“I love history, and activism is so engraved in history. So much had to have happened for me—and everybody—to come into this world. The women's movement, the immigration movement…whatever it may be. As you learn about these, it's hard not to be inspired. Our generation is a representation of all the great movements that have come before us. It's all about paying it forward… What I'm seeing is basically a movement to be your true self. There are no criteria as to what it takes to be involved, protected and cared for."
The teenage phenom and her ever-evolving list of projects and responsibilities is proof that while the iron is hot, the grind doesn't stop. And that goes double for her personal life these days. Although her acceptance to Harvard was an amazing accomplishment, Yara has been vocal about her decision to take a gap year, following in the footsteps of Malia Obama, who also took a gap year before starting at Harvard this fall. Yara's reasons?
Instead of working and juggling school like she has for most of her career, she just wants to focus on other interests outside of the classroom. So, she'll be hard at work on Grown-ish and her charity work with low-income youth. In a recent Instagram post, she said:
"I'm taking a gap year to dig deeper into all the things that bring me joy before I dive into my double concentration at college."
One thing is certainly for sure – Yara's been killing it, and she's reminding us exactly why. Staying in your lane and taking care of number one is the best way to live no matter what age you are. Who runs the world? Yup, still girls.
Check out Yara's interview with Seventeen in full here.
Featured image via Ga Fullner / Shutterstock.com