Why Zendaya Is The Refreshing Teen Starlet The World Needs

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Whether or not you stuck around with Disney Channel long enough to see Zendaya’s first appearance on TV in 2011, there’s no doubt that she has been on your radar. Just five years after her first step into the spotlight, Zendaya’s talents have led her to become the lead of a new TV show, a CoverGirl spokesperson, and a newly featured voice for Republic Records. But there is more to love about Zendaya than her ability to rock any fashion choice or her spot in Taylor Swift’s squad.
Zendaya is one of those refreshing voices in Hollywood that reminds you of the good people can do with their place in the spotlight. Even with such a young start to her career and a growing Instagram following of 21 million, Zendaya has maintained a very genuine and grounded outlook on fame. At nineteen years old she has graduated high school, appeared in a Grammy award winning music video, and was named one of TIME’s 30 Most Influential Teens... all while dominating a growing career of her own. And despite all of this success, Zendaya continues to keep her fans close and dedicate quality time to thanking them for their support.
I think what draws me most to Zendaya is her strong voice in the community for young women. Last year’s Oscars red carpet review was one of the first times the media took the opportunity to amplify Zendaya’s willingness to speak out against prejudice. After Fashion Police offered a racist remark in regards to her hair, Zendaya used it as a teaching moment. In response to the reporter’s apology, she posted “It’s our job to spot these issues within others and ourselves and destroy them before they become hurtful...Body shaming and other hurtful tactics will never get the job done.” 
After this particular moment in the media, it became clear that this young woman would not be one to let harmful things happen without having something to say about it. Just this past October, Zendaya revealed on her Instagram that she was retouched in a photoshoot without her consent, and this didn’t sit well with her. 
“These are the things that make women self conscious,” Zendaya wrote, “that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have.” Alongside other young feminists such as Rowan Blanchard and Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya is using her attention in the media to highlight some important issues that need to be addressed, no matter what the repercussions. In a society that is so caught up in the power and fame that celebrities have, it is refreshing to see and hear women standing up for the changes they believe in without getting caught up in the whirlwind of media attention. Using this privilege of being heard is something these ladies are not taking for granted. I will always support women in this industry who are not afraid to speak out, to highlight important conversations and to point out when those in power have it wrong. I am definitely looking forward to seeing the work Zendaya puts out in the future, and hope that people are as inspired as I am to be an additional voice for your own community.
Make sure to check out Zendaya’s newest single “Something New” and be on the lookout for a new full length album coming soon!

Photos via Zendaya's Instagram

About The Author

Feminist, Broadway enthusiast, Leslie Knope admirer, and professional self-promoter. Thanks for reading!
Pronouns: She/her/hers