She’s one of my favorite Women on the Red Carpet and now she’s our newest Woman of Gumption. And it doesn’t take a Detective to deduce why Zendaya is going the only direction she can; UP.
Zendaya Coleman isn’T your average star.
In fact, she’s quite the opposite. From her days on Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover to her star making turn in film’s like The Greatest Showman and Spiderman: Homecoming , Zendaya has become a household name. She’s also a bonafide fashion phenomenon. She is continuously making every best dressed list (mine included) for every major Hollywood event ever enacted. She’s even such a fashion powerhouse that Tommy Hilfiger himself teamed up to collaborate with her to create TommyxZendaya, her first foray into the world of fashion design.
Oh, and she’s only 22.
Same girl, Same.
Anyone who knows me or has ever read one of my red carpet recaps (Hi MOM!!), knows my love for Zendaya runs deep. Like, Pacific Ocean deep. I love that she, along with her full tilt Fashion Wizard of a stylist Law Roach, does not just commit to a dress or a singular lewk per say,
she GIVES YOU A full damn MOMENT
She truly is the definitive Red Carpet Chameleon.
Let’s take a look as some of those shall we? Starting with her 5 jaw dropping turns at the Met Gala
And it isn’t just fashion’s biggest night that she slays.
But, what makes her a Woman of Gumption?
Her fame and it’s many accompanying accoutrements aren’t something she hoards away for self gain ala Scrooge McDuck, but rather something she sees as an opportunity to help a fellow human.
And now, a little story
On a recent flight to NYC, I picked up the then current issue of Marie Claire with Zendaya on the cover mainly because I thought it interesting plane entertainment.
Now let's jump forward to mid-flight. My RX Bar I snuck on with me? Vanished. My beverage cart Sprite? Legit everything. And I come upon the Zendaya interview (which I was unaware was in conversation with the incomparable Janet Mock) with this as it’s Title;
Zendaya isn’t taking center stage, she’s making room
“Oh, ok Boo” I said as I sipped my final moments of Le Sprite, but as I read, I realized she wasn’t just one of my favorite fashionistas, she was one of the Stars of Young Hollywood that I was now rooting for. She is aware of what her status of visibility means to a younger and arguably impressionable generation. She also seems to have the one thing that most people her age don’t… Humility. She goes on to say something some simple yet so impactful, that I ended up being that guy that takes a picture of a magazine 30,000 feet in the air and then proceeds to save it into his favorites folder.
When Mock asks Zendaya what drives her, this was her reply (and what ultimately became something I reread on the regular).
‘I get fueled by the different people I’m able to positively affect. When people come up to you, and instead of saying, “I loved the last project you did,” they’re like, “I appreciate that you said this,” that makes me feel good. that’s the reason why you do things. For me, I get to do my passion and what I enjoy, and that has become a forum to do much greater things.’
Sometimes you build your platform to step off so others can step on, and that’s honestly what motivates me.
And it was in that instant I became a Zendaya STAN (whatever in the hell that means). I root for her success. In Film, in Television like her new HBO series Euphoria, on red carpets, runways and beyond. Her success means other voices like hers will be able to recognize something in her that could emblazon them, inspire them, or simply make them feel seen.