A new golden age of Hollywood is being ushered in, with a crowd of talent from Generation Z leading the charge. The fresh-faced and optimistic group of actors and actresses are passionate about building community, creating work that matters, and ultimately changing the world for the better. Among that group of movers and shakers are real-life friends Yara Shahidi and Storm Reid.
19-year-old Shahidi got her start as a child model but transitioned into the world of acting, landing her first major television role as Zoey Johnson on the hilarious ABC series black-ish. The IRL Harvard student is the polar opposite of Zoey, whom fans have grown to love (or hate) after binging her spin-off on Freeform’s grown-ish. Unlike her character, who can often be self-absorbed and materialistic, Shahidi channels her energy into doing good for her community. She uses her platform as an A-lister to speak out for marginalized groups, engages in peaceful protests, and even influences public policy.
Though she’s a bit younger than Shahidi, Reid is just as passionate about inspiring change. At only 16, the Euphoria starlet is dedicated to transforming the current Hollywood landscape into a space that more accurately speaks the world that we’re living in by giving voice to new stories. “I feel like it’s important for young African-American girls—and all people—to read books that that tell our stories and watch movies that tell our stories,” said Reid in a 2018 interview with ELLE. “Because sometimes that’s not being told and we’re not being seen and shown.”
Whenever they've got some free time from radically changing the world (doing cool things like speaking with former presidents at the major political summits) , the actresses are just like any other teenager you know. They wear face masks, make lip-sync videos to their favorite songs on social media, and go to Homecoming — wearing dresses a million times less embarrassing than whatever you probably put on back in the day.
Yesterday, Reid went to her very last high school Homecoming dance, rocking a truly red carpet-worthy soft pink feather dress. Shahidi's younger brother Sayeed was her date for the dance. The two have made a habit of attending each other's high school events together; Reid was Sayeed's date to several homecoming dances and even got an adorable surprise promposal last year, which his big sister so sweetly helped plan.
The close bond between the actresses started at a Disney events years ago, where their shared loved for animal print brought them together. These days, when they're not raiding each other's closets or talking high fashion, the duo is plotting their next move to change Hollywood — cheesy high school dances, and all.