"Grown-ish" star Yara Shahidi received her very own Barbie doll last week after starting a movement which encouraged millennials like herself to vote in the midterm elections.
The 19-year-old actress and political activist sat down with "Good Morning America" and opened up about the honor of becoming a "Shero" in celebration of Barbie's 60th anniversary, and what it's like being a role model to young girls.
How does it feel having your own Barbie?
Shahidi: Having my own Barbie doll feels totally surreal because it's never something that I imagined was possible. I'm really honored to be a part of a group of really inspirational women that I for sure look up to.
“”I remember my Barbies were gladiators and queens and also business women--a lot of them ran mass corporations.
What do you love most about your Barbie?
Shahidi:[F]or sure my "vote" shirt because it's a shirt that I wear all the time and the fact that my Barbie gets to rep it is really exciting.
I've worn the vote shirt on multiple occasions, I think most notably my Eighteen x 18 summit in which we gathered students and my peers from around the states to come together before midterms to talk about what matters to us and what's important walking into midterm elections of 2018.
But you can catch me in this [vote shirt] every other day.
What are your earliest memories of playing with Barbies?
Shahidi: Fun fact, my brother and I used to play people games. We would travel through history and so all of our toys would come with us and play characters.
I remember my Barbies were gladiators and queens and also business women--a lot of them ran mass corporations. So that's really funny because all of my earliest memories, my Barbies were bosses.
What does being a Shero mean to you?
Shahidi: Being a Shero is really about following your passion so much so that other people can't help but to take note. It's about being a space maker--not only doing what you love to do but also intentionally making room so that other people can join you. And I think it's about being a part of a community of lovely people and celebrating each other."
What message do you want to get out there in inspiring young girls?
Shahidi: It's understanding that not only the sky is the limit, but also to know that you have such immense support of people who want to see you succeed, and I know that sometimes it doesn't feel like the people around you aren't as invested in you--sometimes you're feeling barriers with home life, or social life or academic life.
I know that can be unavoidable at times, but I feel like on International Women's Day what was really important was to look at all of the people who are committed to you as an individual and to us as a community.
“”Being a Shero is really about following your passion so much so that other people can't help but to take note.
If you can give any woman in the world their own Barbie, who would it be and why?
Shahidi: I would honestly have to say my mama...in terms of somebody who has inspired me on a daily basis, I feel like she has constantly reaffirmed that anything is possible in my world and also has been such an advocate for me.
Where will you display your Barbie?
Shahidi: My go to is displaying things in my brothers' room, much to their dismay. Any cool thing that I get goes to my brothers' room.