If you have ever seen the former Disney Channel show Shake it Up, heard her official single Replay, bought shoes from her exclusive collection Daya by Zendaya or have used Chi hair care products, you have probably heard of Zendaya Coleman. Zendaya is a singer, songwriter, actress, activist and much more. Gracing the screens in commercials and eventually leading in Shake it Up, Zendaya has since taken the world by storm to show that she is not only a role model, but a real model for all young women. There are plenty of reasons why Zendaya should be one of your role models, as we can all learn valuable lessons from her.
She is proud of who she is and where she comes from. Zendaya is biracial as her mother is Caucasian and her father is African-American. When blogs, websites, and cyber bullies started to call her parents ugly, she clapped back like the young queen that she is. She responded by saying on her official Twitter: “While you're so concerned about what my parents look like, please know that these are two of the most selfless people in the world.” "Please log out, go to school, hug a teacher and read a textbook…and while you're at it, go look in the mirror and know that you too are beautiful, because such hateful things only stem from internal struggles. Bless you." I can tell that Zendaya is proud of who she is and the beautiful cultures that she is apart of.
She has spoken out publicly about body shaming and body confidence. This is one that hits home for me. Zendaya has admitted in the past that she has not always loved her body. Even though I am not tall at all, Zendaya and I are skinny women. She has spoken in the past about encouraging her fans to embrace and love whatever body they have been given. Yet she acknowledges that it is not an easy thing to do. In an issue of Seventeen magazine a couple of years ago, she said: “Confidence, especially body confidence, does not happen overnight. You have to take time to fall in love with yourself and realize that every single body is beautiful.” On that note, she has also clapped back at comedy actress Julie Klausner just earlier this year after she commented on Zendaya’s body at the Kids’ Choice Awards. Klausner wrote on Twitter: You don’t have to have an eating disorder to attend the KCA’s but it helps!” Zendaya responded: “Do you find this funny? Now everyone, go look in the mirror at their beautiful body and love it! #thickgirlswinning, #skinnygirlswinning, #weallwinning.” As a skinny young woman myself, it was refreshing to see Zendaya stand up for herself, her natural body shape, and all young women.
She believes in being a “real” model for young women. Zendaya has always loved acting and the joy it brings her. Yet, in real life, she does not believe in putting on an act for her fans. She believes in being a role model, but in her words, she also believes in being a “real” model. With this, her philosophy is what you see is what you get. Her “realness” includes being honest about body shaming and what women go through, being vocal about the injustices in the world, and inspiring her generation to do better.
These are just a few reasons why I consider Zendaya to be a role model for young women of all ages. There are a few others, but I have a word count limit! I know that Zendaya will do even more great things in the future like being the female lead in the new Spider Man: Homecoming movie out next year!