yara shahidi gif

8

Being mixed—I’m half Iranian and half black—even has its strange amalgamation of problems. The first instance that really rubbed me the wrong way was when somebody called me whitewashed. I couldn’t process what that meant. In theory, I’d heard all the stereotypes. But it was my first time seeing, “oh, wow, people still believe in a black stereotype.” What was conflicting was that I was surrounded by successful women and people of color who were—by society’s view—the anomaly. All around me, there were examples of excellence and excelling. But because I carried myself a certain way, I wasn’t a “believable” black person to them. That was the strangest moment.