Favorite young role model: Zendaya or Yara Shahidi?
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Favorite young role model: Zendaya or Yara Shahidi?

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#TeamYara
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Zendaya and Yara Shahidi are actresses beyond their years. Both got their start in entertainment at a young age and besides being extremely talented, they are both woke AF. Zendaya got her start as Rocky Blue on Disney's "Shake It Up" and is revered for her fashion sense. Yara is known for playing Zoey Johnson on "Black-ish" and now stars in her own spin-off, "Grown-ish." Both are beloved role models for young adults and use their platform to address social issues, but who inspires you the most?

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#TeamZendaya
#TeamYara
Zendaya recently spoke to Janet Mock for Marie Claire. Mock praised the actress, who got her start on Disney at only 14 years old, for maintaining her "squeaky-clean Disney persona." But Zendaya has never been afraid to speak up either. She acknowledged Hollywood has a diversity issue and recognizes her privilege as a light-skinned black woman.
“As a black woman, as a light-skinned black woman, it’s important that I’m using my privilege, my platform, to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community,” she said at this year’s Beautycon in New York. “I am Hollywood’s, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a black girl, and that needs to change. We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that. What I’m saying—it’s about creating those opportunities. Sometimes you have to create those paths. And that’s with anything: Hollywood, art, whatever.”

Yara has taken activism to another level. At just 18 years old, she has accomplished more than most. Yara spoke with Carina Chocano of Vogue and divulged her latest endeavors, which includes encouraging young people to vote, tackling taboo topics such as police brutality on TV, and being accepted into Harvard:

She has discussed political activism with Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, is a brand ambassador for Chanel, and started a voting guide for young people called Eighteen x ’18. She graduated last year from the Dwight School in New York, having received acceptance letters from every college she applied to, and will start at Harvard in the fall. She can tell you the year she becomes eligible to run for president off the top of her head.

Yara said her character on "Grown-ish" groomed her to tackle hard topics at a young age.

“You might not normally ask a fourteen-year-old what she thought about police brutality,” says Shahidi, “but because it’s what we were covering on Black-ish, the conversation translated to panels and other opportunities.”
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