Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Refinery29

Here at The Glow Up, we hate to play favorites, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t have a very special place in our hearts for actress-activist-“it” girl Yara Shahidi. While Hollywood is thankfully steadily filling with more young, black female talent, few have shared a trajectory so relatably similar to The Glow Up’s own process of building, growing and making major breakthroughs within the last year (hit show plus Harvard? Come on!). Besides, she’s our play-daughter in our heads. [Editor’s note: And a fellow Minneapolis girl—woot, woot!]


Whether breaking boundaries in her own adorable way each week on her hilarious new hit show, Grown-ish; breaking—and making—fashion rules on the red carpet; or breaking it down about the role of art in the fight for equality (her Instragram caption reads: “We don’t integrate, we recreate #WeTooAreAmerica,”) Shahidi always makes us proud.

Happy 18th, young queen!