Yara Shahidi Is the Quintessential Cool Girl

Don't believe us? Just wait.

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(Image credit: Vijat Mohindra/CPI Syndication)

Yara Shahidi—The Harvard-bound Black-ish actress—has a new after-school gig: Freeform's upcoming Grown-ish. Whether she's cooking, on the beach, or doodling, we want to hang.

Lives in: Los Angeles.

What do you do in your downtime? I love to cook. I am constantly inspired by whatever I’m watching or doing at the moment—once I watched too many episodes of Cupcake Wars and tried to make an Earl Grey cupcake with honey buttercream, and it ended up being a sticky mess.

Fantasy dinner party? On the guest list: James Baldwin. The menu would range from traditional Persian food to soul food to everything in between. It’s a reminder of how similar we are because the basis of most meals is the same ingredients, just seasoned differently.

Need to get away? I love going to the beach. I associate it with relaxation: When you’re acting, your work takes you everywhere, which means every place is a potential workplace, but the one place I have not worked yet is the beach. I’m not a very active beach person. I set up the towels, the chairs, the umbrellas, and then I promptly go to sleep while listening to music. But I do love to Jet Ski.

In your beach bag? Usually a book...actually, a few. The way I choose a book is I read the first chapter of three books and then make my decision. And, of course, snacks.

I love going to the beach. I associate it with relaxation.

Feeling creative? I’m a very visual person—and a doodler. At a certain age, we’re not allowed to color. They no longer hand you crayons at dinner. Adult coloring books are therapeutic; you can step away from what you’re supposed to be doing.

In your artist kit? I’m a crayon person, through and through.

Follow her: @YaraShahidi.

Jen Ortiz
Jen Ortiz

As deputy editor, Jen oversees Cosmopolitan's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. Previously, Jen was a senior editor at Marie Claire. Before that, she worked at GQ.