"By not showing skin, I’m making a statement," the actress said.

By Hanna Flanagan
July 17, 2019 08:00 AM
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Credit: Adrienne Raquel

Yara Shahidi flaunts her natural — and unretouched — beauty on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar‘s empowering August issue.

The grown-ish star and teen activist (who founded a mentoring program called Yara’s Club at age 15 and a platform that encourages voter registration called Eighteenx18 a few years later) opened up about how she’s using fashion and beauty to make a difference.

Credit: Adrienne Raquel

“By not showing skin, I’m making a statement,” Shahidi, 19, said of her off-duty style in the magazine’s “Real Beauty” issue, which aims to celebrate women in their most authentic state by publishing all feature stories with non-airbrushed photos.

The African and Iranian-American star added: “My clothes need to have movement. For me, fashion is all about joy.”

Shahidi, who rocked natural curls and dewy skin for the shoot, also spoke about diversity — or lack thereof — in the beauty industry. Earlier this year, she became a Bobbi Brown Cosmetics ambassador and starred in the iconic makeup brand’s extended shade range campaign.

Credit: Adrienne Raquel

“I love that more brands are doing this,” Shahidi told Harper’s Bazaar of the foundation collection. “There have been times when I got out of the makeup chair and my skin looked gray. It’s why I think every single person of color usually brings their own makeup kit to set.”

In March, the black-ish alum spoke to PEOPLE exclusively about her partnership with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics: “I actually use the product, but the brand aligns with me on more than just a skin care level, they understand the importance of platform.”

Yara Shahidi for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
| Credit: Courtesy Bobbi Brown

In the inspiring campaign video, the brand asked “what makes you feel confident?” The spokeswomen answered by sharing their #BeautyTruth, a hashtag created to spread the positive message.

“True beauty is being unique, experimenting, exploring, sometimes unsettling. True beauty is expansive, is happiness. True beauty is my unibrow!” Shahidi said in the clip.

Yara Shahidi for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
| Credit: Courtesy Bobbi Brown

“I think we have a tendency to materialize beauty, and connect it with product,” she told PEOPLE. “But this campaign is not about us saying, ‘to look better, do this or that.’ But rather, we’re of the opinion you should do whatever makes you feel good, and we’re addressing beauty as not something that’s even attached to a product, but as something that’s attached to this overall feeling of support and confidence which we all get from different things.”