The Greatest Showman star and cultural spokesperson Zendaya has launched a stinging attack against colourism in the movie business.
The actress, who has both African-American and European ancestry, spoke on the weekend at 2018's Beautycon Festival in New York, about the privilege afforded to her because of her light skin.
The actress, who is 21 years old, took the opportunity to discuss with Bozoma Saint John how Hollywood in particular often does not successfully represent black women with darker skin-tones.
‘I am Hollywood’s acceptable version of a Black girl and that has to change.’ - Zendaya is calling out Hollywood’s bias against dark-skinned women pic.twitter.com/u5gCSroMNZ
- NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 23, 2018
She said to the audience: "As a black woman, as a light-skinned black woman, it's important that I'm using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community.
"I am Hollywood's, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a black girl and that needs to change. We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that.
"[It's] about creating those opportunities. Sometimes you have to create those paths. And that's with anything, Hollywood, art, whatever."
Her comments resonated with a lot of people, who turned to Twitter to show their support of the Spider-Man: Homecoming actress.
Thank God she can admit her privilege. Some of your favs are still out here denying they are light skinned but think because they can recite James Baldwin they are as woke AF. It’s actually embarrassing. God bless Zendaya. https://t.co/CBHqMezCl7
- Tobi Oredein (@IamTobiOredein) April 23, 2018
I love that Zendaya openly discusses colorism and her privilege because many of her peers act like it’s not a thing. https://t.co/eAs2gnQNBh
- Aliyah (@luvlee93) April 22, 2018
Zendaya openly discusses colorism, recognizes her privilege and stands in truth. With her opportunities, she recognizes the importance of creating opportunities and amplifying the voices of others. “No one is free until we are all free.”
- Danielle (@theislandiva) April 23, 2018
Earlier this year, Zendaya released her own Boohoo edit, and whilst it appeared the sizing stopped at 'plus', it was actually a technical fault and the sizing was indeed inclusive, with the bigger sizes selling out even faster than the smaller ones.
The actress is clearly striving to practise what she preaches regarding inclusivity, diversity and equality. Go Zendaya!
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