From her global activism to her awe-inspiring fashion to her game-changing roles, Yara Shahidi has already left an innovative mark on the world. Growing up in a multicultural home taught her eons about showing up and embracing self-confidence. Yara had to be reminded of that confidence while growing up. In an interview with Harper's Bazaar Arabia, she shared, "I think this is a universal experience for many people, regardless of your intersection of identity. Oftentimes you're not in the majority and therefore it feels like, are you really supposed to be here? It doesn't matter how qualified you are, or how many things you've done to get there. It's something that I need to be reminded of daily!"
Since her Hollywood debut, she has not let up, especially in the style department. If "can do no wrong on the red carpet" was a person, it would be Yara Sayeh Shahidi.
"Fashion is one of those places in which, when you're wearing something that feels like a representation of you, it does create, in a matter of speaking, a space for you to exist," the Minneapolis native once told Harper's Bazaar. "Even if it's just in a two-inch radius of where you are. It's a walking, personalized area in which you can live."
Let's run up some of our favorite looks featuring this powerhouse. Like wine, she is only getting better with time.
2009 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images
Over a decade ago, the young star lit up the red carpet just before her breakout film, Imagine That, with Eddie Murphy. Name a cuter actress wearing silk at such a tender age!
2011 AFI Fest
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI
Even young Yara was one to watch. During the special screening of Butter at AFI Fest, she wore a bright yellow dress with an adorable hair accessory and wedge heels.
2015 BET Awards
Earl Gibson/BET/Getty Images for BET
Watching Yara grow up right before our eyes has been such a joy. Take this red carpet look from the BET Awards. You see her starting to find her personal style in this preppy two-piece number.
2017 MTV Video Music Awards
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images
Another memorable red carpet moment was when the Grown-ish star served up a sophisticated and sexy look at the MTV VMAs. Wearing a gold Zimmerman dress, Yara shifts her style journey by exploring more risky pieces.
2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images
This all-black getup was on the top of every best-dressed list back in 2018. I mean, look at the material. The classic yet bold jumpsuit designed by Ralph Lauren featured a larger-than-life bow and dramatic train. Now that's how you slay a carpet.
2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci
Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images
How dare Yara show up to one of the biggest fashion events in Los Angeles looking like a goddess? It was only right that she rocked Gucci from head to toe, so she did just that. From the Gucci Cruise 2020 dress to the Gucci sandals to the Gucci clutch bag, earrings, and ring, the style icon solidified her title as a red carpet killer.
2020 Trumpet Awards
Leon Bennett/Getty Images
Yara received the Trailblazer Award at Bounce's Trumpet Awards in 2020, and it's clear to see that she is more than deserving. Just like this queen deserves to be celebrated, this brilliantly structured J.W. Anderson suit from the Spring 2021 runways deserves just as much love. The volume and design of it all speak to her style evolution. At this point in the game, she is owning her divine femininity and uses her wardrobe to make a statement.
2021 Met Gala
Arturo Holmes/MG21/Getty Images
Who better to execute a Josephine Baker tribute than this womanist? During this year's Met Gala, Yara wore a custom strapless Christian Dior gown for the "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion" theme. The elbow-length gloves, diamond necklace, and headpiece perfectly paired with the gown dedicated to fashion and activism, Yara's two favorite things.
To get your fashion fix and to stay up to date with the latest trends, check out the xoNecole Style section here.
Featured image by Arturo Holmes/MG21/Getty Images
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Joce Blake is a womanist who loves fashion, Beyonce and Hot Cheetos. The sophistiratchet enthusiast is based in Brooklyn, NY but has southern belle roots as she was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Keep up with her on Instagram @joce_blake and on Twitter @SaraJessicaBee.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
What Is the Cab Light Theory & How Does It Apply To Your Love Life?
For most of my 20s, I found myself toggled between situationships and dead-end dynamics that left me with nothing more than frosty memories of what could have been. While these relationships proved to be great learning moments and experiences that have shaped my views on what I deserve in a long-term partnership, it’s hard not to mull over why timing never quite played in my favor.
Chalk it up to naivety or simply the hopeful romantic in me, but love never seemed like a distant concept to me. Sure there were tough lessons I had to learn and breakups that I needed healing from, but the hope of finding that special someone still remained. Yet, in my reflections, I couldn’t help but wonder why I kept meeting men who seemed good enough for the moment but would be better had we met at another time.
That is, until I considered one fated component of my dating life that was simply out of my control: and that was time.
When you can’t make sense of things on your own, the TikTok algorithm has a way of leading you to the answers you’re seeking. And during a recent scroll, I stumbled upon a thread of women echoing the sentiment that “men marry the woman in front of them, at the time they are ready to be married” — but could this be the root of my dilemma?
This notion, known as the "Cab Light Theory" is a concept that was introduced in the hit TV series Sex and the City. In the scene, lawyer Miranda Hobbes suggested that men are like taxis - when they're available, their "cab light" is on, and when they're not, it's off. “When they’re available, their light goes on. They wake up one day and decide they’re ready to settle down, have babies, whatever, and they turn their light on. The next woman they pick up — boom! That’s the woman they marry. It’s not fate. It’s dumb luck,” she tells her group of friends in the ladies' room.
The theory is that men are ready and willing to pursue a romantic relationship when they're emotionally available and interested (light on), and if they’re not, well, it’s on to the next pick-up they go (light off). While men are not modes of transportation, there is a point to be made about how a passing notion in a TV series from the start of the millennium could still hold some truth today.
In the original video shared by creator Tay Talks, her take on the “Cab Light Theory” implied that men aren’t necessarily marrying their soulmate or even the love of their life, instead, “it was just the girl he was dating at the time he was ready to get married and settle down.” The “dumb luck” that Miranda Hobbes was referring to in the show is the chance encounter that a woman would find a man who is both financially sound and emotionally available enough to stop his dating pursuits and commit to one woman forever.
But as dating trends shift with new social and economic factors at play, how could it be that more “lights” aren’t going off for men?
In an illuminating piece by Psychology Today, men are more lonely than they’ve been in decades and their soil for choice isn’t helping. The article shared that dating apps drive new connections but have a gender imbalance, with 62% of users being men. And with women becoming increasingly more selective in preferring emotionally available men who share their values, men are now facing a relationship skills gap that can lead to fewer opportunities for long-term partnership if growth, healing, and deeper emotional intelligence are not achieved.
While it’s easy to oversimplify the headaches and frustrations that come with modern dating, we can’t forget that while timing does play a factor in us finding “the one,” we also have the power of choice within our grasp. Men and women both need time to heal, grow, and discover themselves on a deeper level — so would we really want to “jump in the cab” of someone who hasn’t gone through that process already?
Since love is one of those forces that we can’t just make happen a the snap of our fingers, it can be easy to fix a blanket theory into the reason behind our singleness, but it’s important to remember that we can choose to pursue other candidates who date with openness and desire for commitment rather than waiting until someone’s light hastily cuts on.
While love can be sublime it shouldn’t be random. And when love finds us, we shouldn’t have the question in the back of our mind whether we were the best our man could do at the time. We deserve to be sure.
So yes, the “cab light theory” is a cheeky concept that prompts us to appreciate the timing of our love life, but it should also remind us that alignment is everything.
Because the real question is: was his light not on, or was he simply not the one?
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Featured image by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images