Yara Shahidi & the cast of Grown-ish
By Mwabi Kaira

Fans of the Johnson family on ABC’s hit show Black-ish now have Grown-ish to fall in love with. The oldest of the Johnson clan, Zoey played by Yara Shahidi, is off to college and a spin off is born just like Denise Huxtable of the Cosby Show. Denise went to Hillman, a fictional HBCU school in A Different World and Zoey goes the Higher Learning route (shout out to Malik, Deja and Fudge) and goes to California University of Liberal Arts where she is in the minority.

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Yara Shahidi
I was excited to watch Grown-ish. I haven’t been a college student in decades and seeing what life for college millennials was like intrigued me. My son is on his way to college so there’s that too. College for me was at Freaknik’s heyday and although racism and microaggressions were part and parcel of it, folks still hid behind their white sheets and mostly smiled in your face and hated you for your melanin otherwise. It’s a new day and if Grown-ish was going to give me an insight to this new world then I was here for it.

Grown-ish follows Zoey as she navigates her new surroundings. She quickly finds her crew; Nomi the Jewish-American bisexual, Jazlyn and Skylar the track star twins from the hood played by singers Chloe and Halle who are signed to Beyonce and also sing the show’s theme song, Aaron the woke bae, Luca the dread loc’ed free spirit, and Vivek the first generation Indian trying to be the next Drake but doubles as a drug dealer pushing pills on campus because his engineering degree will take too long to get and he needs money now. Millennials through and through.

Chloe & Halle 
Much like Black-ish, Grown-ish tackles issues head on with laughter infused here and there. The twins are carrying their race on their shoulders just like the black superstar female athletes that came before them and they don’t want to disappoint their neighborhood by being failures. Nomi can’t come out to her parents because she doesn’t want to be their bisexual Jewish daughter. Vivek has deep issues with his father that none of his friends can understand; he calls his father a bum because he has been a cab driver all these years and lacks the ambition his son feels he should have. Vivek is that immigrant who is born and grows up in America and wants everything American forgetting the sacrifices made by his parents for him to have this life.

Trevor Jackson & Yara Shahidi
Other than dealing with her father not adjusting to her being gone, Zoey has the ideal family life. It’s her time management, friendship and deciphering come-ons from woke bae skills that are lacking. Does she have to go to every social event she is ‘invited’ to and does she have to follow woke bae around like a lost puppy hoping he will declare his love for her? Can she learn to be a better friend to her roomate? And will the accessible drugs and alcohol lead to her downfall? Grown-ish will answer all these questions as the season progresses and I can’t wait to see it play out.

Grown-ish airs on Wednesday nights at 8 PM on Freeform. 

Are you watching Grown-ish?
Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her at http://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/
Yara Shahidi is best known as actress Zoey on television show Black-ish.

Yara Shahidi (Black-ish) has been a beacon of light for young girls to look up to, not only starring on a hit primetime TV show, but slaying the fashion game, speaking out for social justice and overall presenting herself to be an eloquent and sophisticated role model.

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The 17-year-old superstar recently spoke with Seventeen Magazine about her skincare, embracing her natural hair on the red carpet, choosing her major and college applications. In the interview, she revealed a biggie: she has gotten accepted to every college she has applied for.

Naturally, curiosity is piqued in terms of which colleges accepted her, but Shahidi confirmed that she is keeping that information “close to the belt” for now. She did state that she plans to make the final decision within the next month, so ears are peeled!

While Shahidi has cemented herself as a role model for the masses through her various works -- and simply being her dope self -- it is especially important that she is a Black girl. Showcasing a positive image as a Black girl that not only does well in entertainment, but within her educational pursuits is significantly beautiful. I mean, come on, Former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote her college recommendation for her! I’d call that a peak win.

As for what to study throughout her college career, Shahidi desires to double major in African-American studies and sociology, which seems apt given her passionate speeches about social injustice, rife with Baldwin quotes. She stated, “[...] for me, as much as I want free time, I love to challenge myself. And so it really goes back to the point that I want to study as much as possible and [doing] a double major is the solution.” She noted that whether or not to choose a minor is still up for debate, as it could either be something in the arts or social-based.

Whatever she decides to choose, the proverbial world is Shahidi’s oyster and I’m looking forward to whatever magic she creates in the future!

Which college do you think Yara will attend?
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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.

Melanie Aman, Student

"I'm Melanie [@melanie_aman], and I'm from Tampa, Florida, but go to journalism school at the University of Florida in Gainesville. It's a quintessential college town centered around football, but when you get past that, there's a lot of amazing places to eat and discover. I recently scored a record player for cheap, and now I'm addicted to record shopping. I love going to this place, Hear Again Music and Movies, and just browse for hours. I'm kind of exploring what I'd like to do past college now, and I think I'd love to work at a fashion magazine or as a freelance stylist. I'm dabbling a bit in both with my position as a Style Guru for College Fashionista.

My college life is very quick, so I like to simplify my beauty routine. School can get a bit stressful, especially around exam time, and I'd rather be in bed watching Bob's Burgers or Brooklyn Nine-Nine than doing a full face of makeup just for class. Most of the time, I keep it really simple. I also have pretty OK skin, so I try to stay away from putting any makeup on unless I need to conceal any blemishes. I can't get behind a heavy, perfect veil of foundation and powder when all I need is light concealer and a good tinted moisturizer.

In terms of cleansers, I really love using Cetaphil. I try to look for cleansers without salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide because it dries out my skin. I use a heavy moisturizer at night, so my face is usually a bit oily when I wake up. Cetaphil is a good, gentle cleanser that makes my skin feel clean and soft. If I’m feeling really lazy and I don’t want to wet my face, I love Vichy’s Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Cleanser.

My favorite daytime moisturizer is hands-down La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Mat. As a broke college student, it’s a bit expensive but so worth it. It's so much cheaper in Europe though, so the last time I visited Paris, I stocked up. I have a very oily T-zone, but this moisturizer keeps my face oil-free for the entire day. If I feel like my skin needs a bit more effort, I like to use Nars’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer—it's got SPF, has never broken me out, and the color-match is pretty spot on. I set this with a Maybelline Dream Matte Pressed Powder that's so old, it's discontinued.

Next I’ll move onto my brows. They're the most important step in my makeup routine, and I will rarely leave my room without a full set of brows. I love Anastasia Beverly Hills products. I currently use the Dipbrow Pomade because it allows me to easily control how bold I want my brows to be. I used to use the Brow Wiz by Anastasia but hated having to repurchase it every two or three weeks. Anyone else come across this? When you do your brows every single day, I need something that works and that's going to last me a while.

To curl my eyelashes I use either my Shu Uemura or Tweezerman Procurl Eyelash Curler. I have to use a waterproof mascara to get  my stick-straight lashes to hold a curl. The formula works better than non-waterproof mascaras, and I stand by my Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara.

If I wear eyeliner, it’s always a cat-eye. I’ve tried a lot of different eyeliners, be it gel, pencil, or liquid. Now that I’ve perfected my cat-eye method, I prefer using a waterproof liquid eyeliner. My former roommate went home to Korea and brought me some Korean makeup, and I’ve been loving the Clio Kill Black/Brown Waterproof Brush Liner. I don’t know how unique this is, but when I do my eyeliner I like to start with the flick. I turn my head and try to match the end of the flick to the top of my ear. Usually it turns out pretty even.

Most of the time, I skip bronzer, blush, and highlight just because I can’t be bothered on a regular school day. If I’m going out, OK, then I will use my Nars Blush/Bronzer Duo in Orgasm/Laguna.

For lips, if I want to channel Kylie Jenner, I’ll opt for my Etude House Soft Touch Auto Lip Liner in #03. To be honest, though, most of the time I just wear my favorite lip blam, Nuxe’s Rêve de Miel. And if I wear a lip color, it’s probably going to be a MAC Lipstick. MAC’s Russian Red is my go-to red lip. Sometimes I'll just wear a bold lip because I go to a school with 50,000 other students, and this is my little way to stand out and tricking my professors into believing I didn't just pull an all-nighter."

—as told to ITG

The #ITGTopShelfie series puts the focus on the lives and beauty routines of Into The Gloss's lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Show us your own Top Shelfie on Instagram—tag us @intothegloss, and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie. 

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