Whether you are a Disney Chanel kid, Marvel Cinematic Universe lover, or HBOMax fan, it is without a doubt that you know who Zendaya is.
In just the past six years, Zendaya has been a part of some of the biggest blockbusters many experienced actors could only dream of.
Like so many people in the film industry these days, Zendaya’s road to fame began with Disney Channel. Zendaya played Rocky Blue in Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up.”
The series ran for three seasons following the friendship and adventures of Rocky and her friend Cece Jones, played by Bella Thorne.
Shake It Up was only targeted to a certain demographic of kids. When Zendaya broke away from her Disney Channel people weren’t afraid to voice their opinions on the young star.
At the age of 18, Zendaya strutted the 2015 Oscars red carpet in a silk Vivienne Westwood gown styled with beautiful dreadlocks. However, E’s Fashion Police had other thoughts on her look.
“That hair is swallowing her. I feel like she smells like patchouli oil,” Giuliana Rancic said live on air.
Those comments set off an outrage from supporters of not only Zendaya but from people who would not tolerate the segments racist suggestions. Zendaya responded to the comments on social media to advocate for herself.
“To say that an 18 year old young woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil is not only a large stereotype but also outrageously offensive,” Zendaya said, “There is already harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair.”
Her post reiterated the idea that locs are just as beautiful as any other hair style and symbolize strength and beauty in all Black women.
After defending herself, Mattel, the famous barbie creator, announced that there would be a Barbie doll with Zendaya and her inspiring Oscar look.
After Shake It Up ended, Zendaya was offered the role to be a producer and the lead of K.C. Undercover. She went back to the creators insisting that her character must have a Black family and that her character was going to be able to do anything a guy could do.
In a Glamour interview she expressed how challenging it is to only see white people in the media.
“A lot of people who aren’t people of color can’t quite understand what it’s like to grow up and not see yourself in mainstream media,” Zendaya said.
Her advocacy for more diversity on Disney Channel really opened the eyes of the motion pictures world.
As KC Undercover’s came to an end, Zendaya’s career skyrocketed.
In 2017, she stared in The Greatest Showman along with big name actors like Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron. The same year she joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Spider-Man’s love interest MJ. She has also signed a deal for a two-part movie Dune with fellow young actor Timothée Chalamet.
Later in 2019 Zendaya shook the TV world by staring as the lead role in HBO original series, Euphoria.
Fans of the show follow her character Rue as she navigates through her addiction, anxiety, and depression.
The show’s creator Sam Levinson broke the barrier and shined light on issues like abuse, addiction and mental illness to teenagers around the world.
People have gone to the internet saying how much Zendaya’s character has helped them navigate through their own personal struggles and thank her so much for taking this roll.
With season two of Euphoria underway, people can’t help but wonder what amazing character she will play next.