Yara Shahidi is living the teenage dream. “It’s been crazy and fantastic, and I’ve loved every minute,” she says with a grin in the powder room of The Wing, Manhattan’s all-women social club. At 17, Shahidi is already preternaturally poised in a Gucci ruffled jumpsuit and coordinated heels, but her appeal is more about substance than style. As a member of the political, passionate, and socially conscious Gen Z, Shahidi serves as a role model to her thousands of followers. Sitting front row at Chanel’s Paris Resort show one moment and advocating for girls in STEM careers the next, she seems to have found the balance between Hollywood’s fantasy and the real-world responsibilities that come with having an engaged millennial fan base.

Shahidi was on hand last week to introduce members of the Lower Eastside Girls Club and front a talk about feminism, sponsored by Fossil. Taking on the serious topics (Trumpism, women’s rights, and racism) along with lighthearted fare (her…

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