Rosemary Donahue
June 03, 2016 11:57 am
Cosmopolitan

In a new interview for the July issue of Cosmopolitan (our girl Zendaya is on the cover!), she talks about a previous magazine shoot that sounds like a much less pleasant experience:

Honestly, while this is super disheartening, it’s also not that shocking. It’s likely true that whatever magazine that shoot was for hadn’t had a black girl on the cover for a while; but that’s a whole different problem, and that’s on the magazine, not on Zendaya. And it certainly doesn’t mean that Zendaya should’ve been grateful for her cover shoot, nor that she shouldn’t have been allowed to speak up if she didn’t like her hair or makeup. They were lucky to have HER there, and not the other way around.

Racially insensitive comments like this are made all the time, and it’s unfortunate and hurtful. However, we’re glad Zendaya isn’t standing for it. When people stand up for themselves instead of putting other people’s comfortability first, it’s the first step to changing the way we treat each other.

By now, we’re actually pretty used to Zendaya speaking up about things like racism, sexism, beauty standards, and other things that she cares about. There was the time she shut down sexist tweets for shaming women who choose not to wear make-up. There was the time she talked openly about learning to love her own hair. And then there was the time she publicly called out photoshopping via her own Instagram.

We’re lucky that Zendaya is ready and willing to do this work. At the age of only 19, she’s incredibly sure of herself and steadfast in her beliefs. It’s admirable, and we hope she only keeps going forward.

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