Zendaya might not even be in her twenties yet, but we could all learn a lot from this social media activist - if you're still not sure who she is, you can brush up on Zendaya here.
After that Oscars dreadlock drama, Zendaya proved herself to be a spokesperson for natural hair, self-confidence and feminism, with an eye to taking out online trolls while she’s at it. She was even honoured with her own Barbie doll, dreadlocks and all.
Now, Zendaya has opened up to People about her self-confidence, and why she didn’t always love her natural curls. telling them 'I feel like it's really important for young people dealing with bullying to see a symbol of confidence. Whether that be from me on social media or from someone in their family, I feel like that is really important to have someone that they can look to and know that confidence is possible. That's why I do it'.
She's giving us that fist pump feeling. Here are 11 times Zendaya was our life inspiration.
1. Zendaya admits she wasn’t always super confident with the way she looks: “It wasn’t like the hair that girls around me had. And nobody really knew what to do with my hair. My mom is white and my dad is black — they have two very different hair types. So we learned how to manage my hair together, and I also watched YouTube videos to find easy styles to do”.
2. She once wanted to ditch her natural hair: “Obviously you want what you can’t have, so I wanted different hair. And it wasn’t until I got older that I learned you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”.
3. She recognises that everyone has body hang-ups: “There is nobody out there that is completely, 100 percent satisfied with every portion of themselves”.
4. …but she’s learned to ignore criticism: “And as you grow up, or as you grow older, you have to learn about yourself and you have to become more familiar with yourself. When I was younger, I was afraid to experiment with my look because I was worried about what people thought. But as I’ve gotten older and become more confident in myself, I just don’t care”.
5. Her response to that Oscars debacle was seriously inspirational: “I think a lot of lessons were learned [after the Oscars] from a lot of different people. I didn’t know that people were going to pay attention to the paragraph that I wrote on Instagram. I was just thinking that someone out there is going to read this, and it’ll stop them from being insensitive. I was raised to stand up and say something when you feel that something is wrong”.
6. (If you don’t know what we’re talking about, Fashion Police presenter Giulia Rancic said Zendaya’s Oscars 2015 dreadlocks looked like they smelt like “weed or patchouli”. Zendaya’s response was EVERYTHING).
7. She was even graceful enough to accept Giuliana’s apology.
8. Zendaya wants to get women loving who they are: “I like who I am, and I hope that I can help a lot of other young women get there”.
9. She wants to let girls know it’s ok to wear whatever you like! “I think that a big part of that is showing that you can dress and wear your hair however you want. People will say whatever they have to say, but as long as you feel good and you feel confident and you’re taking those steps to feel comfortable with yourself, then you’re good!”
10. Zendaya wants to be a positive role model for her family, too. “When it comes to my nieces and stuff you have to get them to love your hair, especially my little niece who’s gorgeous with a curly head of hair, I just really want them to love what they have.”
11. And then there’s this - after Twitter trolls called Zendaya’s parents “ugly”, she responded with this message…
If you think Zendaya's natural hair is beautiful, check out Lupita Nyong'o's hair journey here