Zendaya Opens Up About The Pressures Of Being A Young Black Artist In Hollywood

The multi-talented quintuple threat (singer, dancer, actor, model, and trapeze artist) known simply as Zendaya recently sat down with New York Times bestselling author and Transgender Activist Janet Mock for the September issue of Marie Claire.

The results were combustible: 

Keeping it real, Zendaya spoke about the unique challenges she continues to face in her career, the responsibility she feels as a “real model” to make room for others and making that transition from Disney star to the Zendaya we know and love today.

Zendaya also opened up about being a young black woman in Hollywood and the intense pressure that presents not to mess up:

As well as what she does to help open the minds of Hollywood casting directors:

And that’s not just to widen the pool of roles for herself, instead Zendaya is aiming for something bigger, as she told Mock:

  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.

Fans were all about it:

In fact, Zendaya demonstrated an example of her support for other black actresses, by name checking another young talented Disney actress, China Anne McClain of Disney Channel’s Descendents 2, when Mock noted:

  …there only two black girls who have come out of the Disney machine? Is it just you and Raven-Symoné?

Zendaya and McClain even showed a little #GirlLove online, appreciating one another on Twitter:

Fans were all about the September issues of their favorite fashion magazines, including Marie Claire’s Zendaya cover story on their list of  what one Twitter user rebranded as #BlackGirlMagic Month:

And Zendaya even showed some love for Mock:

Zendaya’s playful side was also on display in a promo video for the Marie Claire piece where she can be seen playing a Pop (the balloon) Quiz:

H/T: Twitter, Marie Claire