5 tees that let Yara Shahidi do the important talking

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Phenomenal style

THE LOOK: Flared jeans and a grey crewneck tee by Meena Harris

Inspired by the late Maya Angelou’s poem, Phenomenal Woman, this tee talks to the all-important women’s economic empowerment campaign in the US and specifically Black Women's Equal Pay Day celebrated on 31 July.

Read more: How is it that we're still celebrating first blacks in 2018?

Worn by Tracee Ellis Ross, Serena Williams and Issa Rae, sales of the tee benefit women-centric organisations including Planned Parenthood Education Fund and Emerge America, and it was a no-brainer for the Black-ish star to showcase her support.

In SA we're also still trying to close gender pay gaps. More about that here.


THE LOOK: Slouchy, layered but always on point with an empowering message

How do you create a better universal experience for all? As far as Yara is concerned, it’s down to a collective push to make a greater impact with a focus on the big picture.

The fearless female told AnOther magazine: ‘…all great movements started from something really depressing and we wouldn’t make a great change if there wasn’t a huge problem to fix.’

We've called out men before to ask them to join us in doing things that will make the world a better place, not just for women but for men too.

#StrongerTogether ???????????????

A post shared by Yara (????‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on

She who knows

THE LOOK: All grown up in dark-wash jeans, a blazer and slogan tee by Alice + Olivia

This year is set to be monumental for Yara and not just because of the spin-off Grown-ish, but because she is turning 18 (10 Feb), giving her tangible power to cast a vote in an election (albeit just the midterm round in the USA), and the activist has been vocal about Gen Z becoming more politically engaged.

And education is key, as she kicks off her varsity experience at Harvard, and plans to major in African-American studies and sociology.

And, yes, it’s true, former First Lady Michelle Obama penned Yara’s letter of recommendation! How did that come about?

Well, hard work, Yara told Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live and working together with Obama on Let Girls Learn, a US Government initiative to ensure adolescent girls have access to quality education globally.

Our struggle here continues with the #Feesmustfall movement.

Inclusive style

THE LOOK: A printed angora Prada pencil skirt teamed with a long-sleeve HSTRY shirt with a powerful message: Respect Existence or Expect Resistance and nude heels.

Keeping the message of inclusivity going, Yara has noted that while she has seen people who look like her in shows, traditionally they are either cast as a minor character, or worst yet, take on cliché roles, and change is essential if we are to progress.

Asking for the full spectrum – the best friend, the lead character, the accomplished – is the inclusivity this world needs and must deliver.

W24's editor writes about inclusivity in Hollywood and beyond and the bittersweet celebration of 'first blacks'.

Read more: Hair politics and diversity in fiction - why black girls need to see girls that look like them on book covers

Future Femme

THE LOOK: Laid-back in washed-out denim dungarees with fray details, teamed with embellished flats and a thoughtful tee because the future is still female

While garnering mass appeal as Zoey Johnson, Yara has not let fame blind her long-term vision of education.

In 2016, she collaborated with DoSomething.org – a nonprofit organisation that focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as a career path for young girls.

In an interview with the LA Times, she outlined the importance in promoting them for all. ‘I feel like it’s so important that somebody’s love or interest in STEM isn’t squashed by this idea that, ‘Well, I’m not a man, this is not appropriate for a woman.’” 

Check out these cool career possibilities.

??"Girl with a vase, a concept"

A post shared by Yara (????‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on

And some say a slogan tee is a dying art, but we think it’s an essential and style-laden tool. Yara for President!

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