How She Did It: Actress-Singer-Activist Zendaya

Unless you are a tween or Disney Channel viewer, the name Zendaya would not really have rung a bell for you until now. The singing, dancing, modeling, acting, socially conscious Zendaya is making her way through the star scene and FROW as the new face of young, beautiful, proud and fashionable. Besides being the former star of television show, Shake it Up, Zendaya is also an author and recording artist – with one album under her belt and another on the way.

So how did Zendaya Coleman not only breakout into mainstream stardom, with her amazing talents and front page worthy style, but become one of the most googled names of year.

Stand for something or fall for anything

“Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self-love.”  

Last month, Zendaya brought a magazine under fire when she discovered she had been photoshopped. Zendaya took to Instagram to show the “real her” in comparison to the photoshopped image, causing the magazine to apologize and make corrections to the original edit in addition to the editor writing a formal apology in the issue she was featured. Zendaya believes women should love who they are, flaws and all, and the media should help to celebrate that love, not continue to create a despairing view of women which distorts the body image of girls and women alike. She was simply not afraid to speak out for what she believes and so many of us should take notes.

Be confident and live on your own terms

“I would much rather live and die by my own hand.”

This Zendaya stated when once asked how she felt about people trying to change her image as she shifts and grows into a young woman with zeal and an uncensored (yet professional) tongue. Rather boldly she mentioned she would rather make her own mistakes and learn from them than those caused by “some old dude” telling her what to do and be. (Don’t you just love her?)

Choose to respond to your critics wisely

“You are who you are and you have to work with what you got.”

Zendaya once again was put in the spotlight after this year’s Oscars when a furore with Fashion Police presenter Giuliana Rancic hit the scene. Giuliana made an unfitting comment towards her dreadlock styled hair on the red carpet. Zendaya’s most elegant response not only proved her to be a young woman of great standard, but the maturity seen within the discourse put many of her tweet and Instagram fighting celeb counterparts to shame. The Instagram and tweeting community all stood by Zendaya and again sparked a formal apology from Mrs. Rancic.

Love yourself first

“As long as you take every opportunity to learn more about yourself and fall more in love with yourself every day, you’re doing good.”

Yes, the cliché comes to this post. Zendaya speaks of honest self-love and wants others to see how beautiful they are too. But obviously there are so many women out there that haven’t heard it enough. Even at 19, Zendaya is becoming that nagging reminder inside your head which says “you are amazing” and we thank her.

Be a model others can follow

“I just want to show a lot of young ladies that you could be beautiful and just as stunning as everyone else without showing every single inch of your body.”

Zendaya is a free spirit with grace. From acting to dancing, she’s taking on new challenges, losing and winning all the same. All eyes are on her and she knows it. It is scary to know that someone is watching you. Not in a voyeuristic way, but there is a young girl, friend, colleague or sibling that has a bit of admiration for you. Whether it’s the way you dress, respond to challenges, or deal with stress. You don’t have to play the perfect part, you are your faults and all and that is what is worthy to model.

Zendaya, a self-proclaimed feminist, continues to speak out on women’s beauty and self-image issues, as well as the ongoing perceptions and criticisms of African American hair. We heart her for her fervor, stance and witty appeal.

If you need more women we love, check out Taylor Swift and Deborah Needleman. Ps. Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Don’t forget to check out our special Christmas shop and keep an eye on CGD this week as we are sharing exclusive discount codes and the best  Black Friday deals in our newsletter this week.

  • Leanne

    such a good role model for the fan base of disney she undoubtedly has. it’s great to read all these things she’s done for young women and the examples she has set for others to follow. great read x

  • Camille Beygui

    She’s amazing


  • Josie Brownlee

    She’s incredible, strong, beautiful and independant and so courageous in her beliefs yet humble and mature in her responses! Definitely a role model to look up to – for young disney-watchers as well as older teens and young adults!

    JosieVictoriaa // // Lifestlye, Travel and Fashion

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