Zendaya spoke at the Beautycon Festival in New York on Sunday (Apr 22) and discussed using her platform as a Black girl in Hollywood. The 21-year-old called out the beauty standards and lack of representation in the industry.
“I am Hollywood’s acceptable version of a Black girl and that has to change. We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that.” – #Zendaya in conversation with @BadAssBoz at #BeautyconNYC pic.twitter.com/wZaIrJm1Tw
— Danielle (@theislandiva) April 22, 2018
Zendaya would like Hollywood to include a wider representation of Black girls onscreen. The star of The Greatest Showman said she is trying to create opportunities with her platform for her entire community. “Not just an opportunity for myself but for my entire community…As a Black woman, as a light-skinned Black woman, it is important that I say listen, ‘I’m using my privilege and my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community.”
The biracial star went on to directly speak on the colorism in the acting world and how limiting the effects are. She deemed herself “Hollywood’s acceptable version of a Black girl” because of her light skin and wavy hair and said that image has to change to include the vast beauty that exists within the community. Zendaya also provided some words of encouragement to other girls who are striving to make it in any industry.
— Eva (@unicorn4evar) April 23, 2018
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.