Zendaya gave the most heartfelt and thoughtful comments about black women and colorism in Hollywood, and Twitter is *loving* it
As if we didn’t love her enough already, Zendaya used her platform and privilege to slam current Hollywood beauty standards and shed light on how black women are flagrantly misrepresented. Over the weekend, The Greatest Showman star attended the 2018 Beautycon Festival in New York City, and took it as an opportunity to speak out against colorism in the industry.
"As a black woman, as a light-skinned black woman, it's important that I'm using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community," she explained while talking to Bozoma Saint John. "I am Hollywood's, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a black girl and that needs to change. We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that. [It's] about creating those opportunities. Sometimes you have to create those paths. And that's with anything, Hollywood, art, whatever."
RIGHT ON, GIRL. Colorism runs deep in Hollywood. While diversity is definitely on the rise in movies and television shows, it seems that light-skinned actors are usually the ones who are given roles, which shouldn’t be the case. As Zendaya pointed out, black women are vastly too beautiful and talented for light-skinned women to be their sole representation.
The 21-year-old actress’ comments soon spread on Twitter and many were quick to applaud her bravery for putting the spotlight on such a sensitive issue.
This isn’t the first time Zendaya has called out colorism in the industry. In her cover story for Cosmopolitan back in 2016, she shared that she feels it is her responsibility to use her privilege to stand for change:
"I feel a responsibility to be a voice for the beautiful shades my people come in. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a privilege compared to my darker sisters and brothers," she said. "Can I honestly say that I’ve had to face the same racism and struggles as a woman with darker skin? No, I cannot. I have not walked in her shoes and that is unfair of me to say."
"But I’m completely behind that woman. I want to be a part of the movement and growth," she added. "And if I get put in a position because of the color of my skin where people will listen to me, then I should use that privilege the right way."
Instead of remaining mum about the subject, we’re glad that Zendaya recognizes her privilege and uses it to help disadvantaged actresses. We’re hoping that her continuous activism finally nudges Hollywood to make the necessary changes and provide opportunities for other black women.