Yara Shahidi, TED talk, perfume, Divine, Jean Paul Gaultier

Actress Yara Shahidi Celebrates Release Of TED Talk ‘Let Curiosity Lead’

In her TED talk, she encourages tuning out the pressure to define yourself by your job title and instead letting your inner voice guide you.

Over a year after taking the famed TED stage in Vancouver, Canada, acclaimed actor and producer Yara Shahidi celebrated the release of her full TED talk, “Let Curiosity Lead,” on social media earlier this week.

The 22-year-old star, known for her breakout roles on ABC’s “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish,” posted on Instagram that speaking at TED was a “bucket list dream” she’s had since age 15, Arab News reported.

Shahidi expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share the stage with thinkers who have impacted her in a social media caption, writing, “I also sit in gratitude to have shared the stage with people who have changed my trajectory and introduced me to new ways of thinking. (Yep, I was that 10-year-old listener, and that 15-year-old that would memorize TED talks for speech and debate competitions, and listen to TED radio hour when in need of inspiration). What a FULL CIRCLE moment to be able to share my passion around the transformative powers of embracing curiosity.”

In the released talk, Shahidi unpacks the power of creativity and how to tap into it. She challenges the cultural focus on expertise over curiosity, stating, “Think about how many times we ask each other the question, ‘What do you do?’ Which is really a proxy in my mind for a much more pressing question – ‘Who are you right now?’ Because what we do is only a fraction of who we are. And this culture of heralding expertise means that our curiosities are often mislabelled as distractions. I would love to think through what we could be missing out on by not actively prioritizing our curiosity.”

Shahidi’s diverse creative pursuits span acting, producing, activism, and fashion. She recently became the face of Jean-Paul Gaultier’s new “Divine” fragrance campaign, a role she called the dawn of her “golden era” on social media. Arab News previously noted that the new scent is vegan, cruelty-free, and made from 90% natural origin ingredients.

Shahidi, 22, brings a Gen Z perspective on finding one’s calling and the importance of exploration.

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