Yara Shahidi is a gamechanger.

At the Glamour Women of the Year Awards 2021 held Thursday night, the “grown-ish” star was honoured with the New Gen Gamechanger Award celebrating emerging talent.

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Shahidi speaks with the magazine about her career and the management of both success and failure.

“For me, success has been defined by my family, not let’s say, a job well done or in those traditional senses. But really has this been an experience of growth? Am I satisfied with what I put into that experience? I have found success in many different areas, but often not in the areas that are expected,” the 21-year-old says.

“One of the things that I’ve tried to push through is the discomfort of standing up for myself. One of my goals is to be able to advocate for myself as well as the other people around me,” she adds. “Moments that I would address as failures are those moments in which I decided that it would be easier to have lower standards, or to be OK with something that does not fit my needs.”

Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi. Photo: Afshin Shahidi for Glamour

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Shahidi also shares her hopes for women in the entertainment industry over the next 20 years.

“While we have begun to crack the surface of inclusivity, there is still so much work to be done. I hope that in the next 20 years we accept the task of totally re-imagining the system to be more equitable,” she says. “We should imagine, ‘How do we enfranchise creators of many intersections to feel like they have ownership over their projects and figure out ways to ensure that sense of ownership?’ I’m particularly excited for more global conversations on womanhood, and that gets rid of the narrative of connecting in spite of our differences, but because of our differences.”

She continues, “We’ll continue to nuance what ‘feminism’ looks like. It’ll continue to nuance ideas, what allyship looks like and of what united coalitions look like and I think media can lead the charge because in many ways, we have depended on art to begin to imagine worlds that we have yet to imagine.”