Zendaya Will Never Not Keep It Real: I Can't Get Away With The Same Things My White Peers Could
The star knows how hard it is to shine brighter.
August 07, 2018 at 8:06 pm
At only 22 years old, former Disney child star Zendaya Coleman has become one of Hollywood's "it" girls.
Zendaya sat down with acclaimed writer and activist Janet Mock to dish for Marie Claire about being a black woman in Hollywood. While being of mixed race, the singer, model and actress said she still has to fight for roles because the industry prefers white women. Many of the parts she has gone for were meant for white actresses.
"There was a lot of not getting the audition that I wanted and often going out for parts that weren’t written for a girl who looks like me and just saying, 'Hey, see me anyway,' until the right thing stuck."
She also touched on the space allowed for black women in the limelight to make mistakes: none.
"What my white peers would be able to get away with at this point in their career is not something that I will be able to do. And I knew that from when I was real young," the Oakland native said. "That’s just the truth, and so you’ll be kind of afraid of making mistakes because I love what I do. I don’t want to jeopardize it at any point because I am not allowed the room to mess up."
Zendaya is a part of a new generation of young actresses who are under the age of 25. Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi and The Hate U Give actress Amandla Stenberg are her peers. They are also light-skinned and of mixed race. The 22-year-old acknowledges their success but hopes the doors open for other types of black girls.
"I know Yara a little bit more than Amandla. I’m a little bit older than Yara, so it’s cool to talk to her and learn where she is in her coming up and her figuring it out," Zendaya added. "What is important to me is knowing we are not the only black girls in the industry. We kind of have been painted as the face, and that’s not the truth. It’s important to have a conversation where we are opening the door to our peers and more black women who don’t necessarily look like us."
Read more of Zendaya's interview on Marie Claire.
Now, check these out:
17-Year-Old Rapper Says He Doesn't Want Dark-Skinned Babies: 'I Ain't With That'
Why Colorism Is Still Keeping Black Women Divided
Azealia Banks Cancels Album After Accusing Nick Cannon And 'Wild 'N Out' Of Colorism