Over the weekend, Beautycon graced New York City for a star-studded festival full of beauty enthusiasts ready to take notes on the hottest trends in health and beauty and have a real discussion on beauty standards. Zendaya was among the celebrities present, and the 21-year-old actress and singer used the Beautycon stage as an opportunity to call out colorism in Hollywood.
Zendaya sat down with Uber's Chief Brand Officer Bozoma Saint John.
"As a black woman, as a light-skinned black woman, that's important that I say listen,” Zendaya said. “I'm using my privilege and my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community.”
"I am Hollywood's acceptable version of a black girl and that has to change," the "Greatest Showman" star continued. "We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that."
"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
— Danielle (@theislandiva) April 22, 2018
Zendaya was met with cheers from the crowd as Saint John told sis she was "preachin'."
The convention wasn't Zendaya’s first time speaking on issues of colorism.
In her cover story for Cosmopolitan's June 2016 issue, a then-19-year-old Zendaya told the publication she feels an obligation to represent for all shades of the melanin spectrum.
“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… Can I honestly say that I’ve had to face the same racism and struggles as a woman with darker skin?” she said. "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 continued. “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.”