Yara Shahidi: ‘Yara has never dated and my character dated three guys’


Yara Shahidi is one of five covers for Marie Claire’s May Fresh Faces edition. She’s promoting her spinoff show, Grown-ish, which airs Wednesdays at 8pm on Freeform. Marie Claire has only released the cover, an internal image and some brief quotes from Yara, who has been open in the past about the fact that she doesn’t date and that she’s committed to activism. She has some similar sentiments here.

On turning 18, voting and what that means for the future
“Even when you reach voting age, there are so few resources that are non-partisan in which you can develop your own political opinions. My ultimate goal is to turn the passions and interests we have into policy change.”

On how Yara compares to her alter ego on Grown-ish
“Yara has never dated and my character dated three guys in the span of two shooting weeks. So there was a lot that was new to me. One thing I’m learning to do is respect my own timeline. Things will happen when they happen.”

On being a vocal advocate for diverse representation in entertainment
“I’m in no way trying to be the face of blackness. The goal is to open doors, role by role, and be drowning in a sea of people who look like me, or like someone else, so anyone can see themselves reflected on screen.”

[From Marie Claire]

I like what she said about opening doors so that she’s no longer an exception and that she doesn’t want to be “the face.” That was my favorite quote. It’s slightly weird that she’s talking about herself in the third person, but maybe she’s trying to be very clear that she’s talking about herself and not her character. It’s cool that she’s just saying she doesn’t date in a matter-of-fact way and isn’t being preachy about it. She’s not saying it’s for religious reasons or anything (although that would be fine too) she’s just presenting it as a personal choice. She said in a Seventeen interview last fall that she was just too busy.

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photos credit: WENN and Marie Claire

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20 Responses to “Yara Shahidi: ‘Yara has never dated and my character dated three guys’”

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  1. Angel says:

    She’s gorgeous and smart! A lethal combination….

  2. smcollins says:

    Completely superficial but, WOW, she is a gorgeous young lady. And based on these excerpts has a good head on her shoulders to boot.

  3. smee says:

    I love Grown-ish and Black-ish!
    i also love the “respecting my own timeline’ quote – very mature for her age (and looks)
    She’s incredibly beautiful and a good actress. I also like how she’s dressing – stylish but not tons of skin (which is fine) – it’s refreshing

    • minime says:

      i’m at the time binging on Black-ish…it’s such a great show with an amazing cast!! I didn’t know that there was a spinoff and now I definitely need to watch that too.
      Yara is not just gorgeous she’s a great actress and I wish we will get to see her in many other projects.

  4. Scarlet Vixen says:

    She seems like an incredibly lovely young woman–both inside & out. I’m glad to see more women her age showing ambition & putting emphasis on things other than dating. Thru our teens it often feels like too big a part of our ‘identity’ is our relationship status or our desirability. I love seeing young women shrug that off & see their self-worth in a grander scope (if that makes sense).

  5. Common sense says:

    I love her, she and Amandla Sternberg are amazing young ladies.

  6. Rumi says:

    Love Blackish, Yara is beautiful, articulate and intelligent. Respect my own timeline – Bravo. I love the fact she embraces both of her parents heritage. And policy change is where you can make the most impact in any democratic society.

  7. Slowsnow says:

    This is how you wash the Bella Thorne nonsense off your eyes.

    Faith in humanity restored.

  8. Michelle says:

    She is a beautiful young lady and I hope that she has continued success both professionally and personally. I miss seeing her on Black-ish (we do not get the channel that Grown-ish is on) but Diane on the show steals the scene every time!

  9. ParlerBleu says:

    Love, love, love Yara! More of her, please. I agree with the commenters above that she comes off as a very self-aware, thoughtful young woman and I wish her every success in the future!

  10. Naddie says:

    Smart, articulated, beautiful… I wanna see her more.

  11. Lucy says:

    I’d really like to see both Black-ish and her new show, too!! Too bad I don’t have Hulu :(

  12. Mimz says:

    I Love Yara, she’s a great role model and I wish I had someone like her to look up to when I was younger. She does get a lot of criticism online because people just can’t be happy, saying she isn’t black enough, grown-ish isn’t black enough (her, chloe and halle are on the lighter side of “blackness” apparently that is wrong *eyeroll*) and she’s gotta learn how to deal with the trolls. She recently blocked someone because of said criticism, an actual valid point was made, but she couldnt handle it. It’s fine to acknowledge her show has some … things to discuss or improve (the point was that on a particular episode the teens were chastising Aaron for only dating light-skinned/mixed girls, and he eventually showed up with a dark skinned girl with a “different name from an African Country he couldn’t even pronounce” and she was in and out in 2 seconds.
    So, I understood where people came from, even if it was poorly delivered, but I think in time she will learn to defend herself without seeming like she can’t take a negative/different opinion.

    Other than that, I really like her, I think she needs to improve her acting a bit but she has a bright future, for sure. I do feel bad for her being an unexperienced girl filming …. kissing scenes with different guys. Much like I feel mortified every time I see Yvonne Orji making hot sex scenes when she’s a virgin. It’s awkward. I wouldnt have wanted to have my first experiences shown on TV. That and… managing all the conflicting feelings… sigh.

    Sorry for the long post!

    • eto says:

      Colorism is real! I wouldn’t dump the whole history and consequences of that on Yara BUT remember when Lupita won a flipping Oscar and industry folks were like “Hmmm idk what we would cast her in.” Like they couldn’t imagine a woman who looks like Lupita getting cast in any roles?? As a dark-skinned WOC I see it all too often that diversity is largely represented with the lightest of us and on top of being frustrating, it has real-world consequences.

      • Mimz says:

        ETO I totally agree, as an actual African dark skinned WOC, I notice it on grown-ish as well but it’s not Yara’s fault. Besides I really think Chloe and Halle are amazing, and their dreadlocs are my hair goals -mine look dusty in comparison.
        But anyway, like I said, there were valid points regarding the colorism in the show, lack or representation of us on the darker side, but overall I think the show has good representation – black mixed latina indian… we cant have everything at once sadly. And it’s not on Yara tbh. People must direct their anger and concerns to the show creators. Maybe next time they cast someone more like us.