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Yara Shahidi Says Fashion Gives Her a Way to 'Amplify a Message': 'I Love Thinking About Purpose'

Yara Shahidi Says She Uses Fashion to Celebrate Those she Admirers and Beauty To Celebrate the Fact she's 23
Yara Shahidi Says She Uses Fashion to Celebrate Those she Admirers and Beauty To Celebrate the Fact she's 23

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Yara Shahidi is celebrating her purpose.

After making her onscreen debut in 2009 in the comedy Imagine That, the star went on to land her big break in the role of Zoey Johnson on ABC's hit sitcom Black-ish before securing her own spinoff with the show Grown-ish. Now, ahead of starring as Tinker Bell in the live-action Peter Pan & Wendy film, the actress opened up to Byrdie about fashion, beauty and using the two to be authentically herself.

In the digital cover story, Shahidi, 23, told the publication, "With fashion, I love thinking about purpose."

Yara Shahidi Says She Uses Fashion to Celebrate Those she Admirers and Beauty To Celebrate the Fact she's 23
Yara Shahidi Says She Uses Fashion to Celebrate Those she Admirers and Beauty To Celebrate the Fact she's 23

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RELATED: Yara Shahidi and Liza Koshy Talk Dating and the Key to a Perfect Charcuterie Board

"I like to use clothing to amplify a message I find important or celebrate someone I admire," Shahidi said. "With beauty, I'm all about leaning into the fact that I'm in my 20s. I like to have fun with my makeup and hair and do things that will make me smile. I love using big red carpet moments as another way to experiment and figure out if I can get closer to sharing what's authentically me every time I step out."

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Yara Shahidi Says She Uses Fashion to Celebrate Those she Admirers and Beauty To Celebrate the Fact she's 23
Yara Shahidi Says She Uses Fashion to Celebrate Those she Admirers and Beauty To Celebrate the Fact she's 23

AB + DM for Byrdie

RELATED: Yara Shahidi Officially Graduates from Harvard University: 'Celebrating All Week'

Some of those big red carpet moments include her Josephine Baker-inspired 2021 Met Gala look and her recent appearances at the NAACP Image Awards, Emmy Awards, and Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

At every event, the star is seen taking risks and experimenting with what feels like her — going from timeless opulent silhouettes to artful, edgy aesthetics at ease.

For the actress and activist, being authentically herself and authentically beautiful comes from the inside as much as the outside. She told Byrdie that one of the things that helps her feel most herself is "shedding a lot of the characteristics I overvalued about myself."

Yara Shahidi Says She Uses Fashion to Celebrate Those she Admirers and Beauty To Celebrate the Fact she's 23
Yara Shahidi Says She Uses Fashion to Celebrate Those she Admirers and Beauty To Celebrate the Fact she's 23

AB + DM for Byrdie

RELATED: The Kids of 'Black-ish': Where Are They Now?

"For so long, I wasn't someone who went out or someone you had to 'worry' about," she said. "I gave myself a curfew, and I would turn down opportunities because they went against this perceived idea of myself that I had in my head. Sometimes, I made those things central to my personality, even though no one asked me to."

Shahidi shared that though the "expectations" got here to where she is now, it's been even more "interesting trying to shake them."

"Not everything requires the same level of seriousness."