“I joined Twitter when I was 10 and I got my Instagram when I was 11,” the actress recalled during an interview with Entertainment Tonight in October 2019. “When I joined Instagram, I did notice a lot of hate comments or people would just, like, nitpick at my appearance, just to be funny … For me, being a young age, I didn’t understand why these people were saying these things. I would get really, really sad.”
As she’s grown up, Skai brushes off the negative commenters and learned when to clapback. “I’m starting to learn to love myself no matter what and not care what anyone says,” she said at the time.
The New York City native made her first TV appearance on Sesame Street in 2006. She also nabbed a few guest-starring roles before making her Disney debut on Jessie in 2011. From that point on she starred as Zuri in the fan-favorite series until it ended in 2015. Skai also went on to reprise the part for three seasons of its spinoff series, BUNK’D.
Since departing her breakout role, Skai has competed on Dancing With the Stars, voiced the role of Glory Grant in multiple Marvel Rising installments and wrote a memoir. Titled Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback, the book was released to be an inspiration to the young star’s fans. At first, “the book was supposed to be about antibullying,” she told POPSUGAR in November 2019 following its release. “Then [my stylist, my mom, and I] thought it might be interesting — even though I’m only 17 — to do a memoir.”
Skai’s goal was to share her experience with readers. “Just because I’m a public figure doesn’t mean I haven’t gone through struggles or tough times in my life. I want them to know that everything is going to be OK and to also see another side of me that they don’t know about,” she explained.
Aside from continuing to be an inspiration to young people, Skai has made a pretty big name for herself on TikTok. Let’s not forget the epic cameo she made in Lil Naz X‘s “Panini” music video! It’s safe to say Skai’s killing it. Scroll through our gallery to see her complete transformation over the years.
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