Zendaya has reached peak fashion plate as she covers the July issue of Vogue Magazine. The Disney star has served looks on the red carpet for years now, has her own line called Daya by Zendaya and has landed fashion campaigns before, so it only makes sense for her to grace the cover of the fashion bible.
A large portion of the Vogue profile is dedicated to one of the reasons why she's such a force in the industry: her voice. Zendaya's relentless confidence and autonomy over her projects sets her apart from the rest, and makes clear that she is a force to be reckoned with. Vogue used two examples to illustrate this perfectly.
First, the now-infamous, ignorant commentary Giuliana Rancic provided after Zendaya slayed this look at the Oscars in 2015. Of her faux locs, Rancic said, “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil or weed.” The racist comment understandably did not sit well with Daya, whose locs made an elegant, red-carpet-worthy statement that night. Her response included the following: "My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough. To me locs are a symbol of strength and beauty, almost like a lion’s mane.”
Another amazing example of Zendaya using her voice shows just how business savvy she is. Four years ago, Disney approached Daya about a new show following the success of her debut in Shake It Up. She did not roll over and blindly agree to Disney's terms. Instead, at just 16 years old, she successfully negotiated agency over the project, including but not limited to changing her character's name, insisting she be brought on as a producer, asserting that the show must feature a family of color and changing the name of the show. (I was like, ‘The title is whack. That’s gonna change,’ ” she said.) Her creative input and insistence on advancing representation morphed the originally titled Super Awesome Katy into K.C. Undercover, and subsequently propelled her to superstardom.
She saw nothing wrong with standing her ground. “A lot of people don’t realize their power. I have so many friends who say yes to everything or feel like they can’t stand up for themselves in a situation. No: You have the power.”
Though Daya has successfully progressed from Disney star to more serious roles, she's not immune to racism. She's currently promoting her role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which initially caused controversy due to the fact that internet trolls can't handle POCs being cast as comic book characters (literally imaginary people, mind you). When responding to said controversy, she did not mince words: "It's like, you guys are just making s**t up at this point and then reacting to it....But of course there's going to be outrage over that because for some reason some people just aren't ready. I'm like, 'I don't know what America you live in, but from what I see when I walk outside my streets of New York right now, I see lots of diversity and I see the real world and it's beautiful, and that's what should be reflected and that's what is reflected so you're just going to have to get over it.'"
Personally, we can't wait to see Zendaya portray Mary Jane this summer. She looks amazing in this Vogue shoot and we can't think of someone more deserving of the honor than her. Congrats, queen!
(Photo: VOGUE Magazine, July 2017)
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