Yara Shahidi stands up for herself


Yara Shahidi is enjoying "two years of no".

The 20-year-old actress is embracing doing what makes her feel comfortable and not sacrificing her own values to make other people happy.

She said: "I had a 'Year of no' last year which is now turning into two years of no, and that's all about being comfortable in asking for what you want and then, as long as whatever you're asking for is rooted in your personal values, you shouldn't feel any sort of way about asking for those things.

"I just wanted to feel more comfortable insisting on the things that I knew I wanted."

The 'Grown-ish' star insisted she is never unreasonable in her requests and would rather be "disruptive" if it means standing up for herself.

She said: "I'm pretty practical anyway, there are very few things where I'm asking for something I should feel bad about.

"Mostly they are rooted in wanting to get things done to the best I possibly can.

"I think, especially as a woman of colour, it's often hard to say no.

"It's perceived as disruptive instead of a catalyst to achieve something better. I am down to destigmatise the word no, sometimes you have to be disruptive.

"And really, it comes down to your duty as a woman to be taking care of yourself as well as you take care of other people. That's important for women to remember."

Yara is known for her activism, including her campaign to rally for young voters to register, and speaking out on the causes that matter doesn't feel difficult for her.

She told Grazia magazine: "I come from a very engaged family so activism didn't feel out of the ordinary.

"IF anything, it felt like, as my platform grew, so did the expectation to continue conversations that we've been having since I was born.

"Now my thing is, how do we remain action-oriented, especially given the upcoming election?

"I feel like it' no longer a question of how do we get young people to care? It's now about how do we give young people the access to act upon their feelings?"