The Evolution of Zendaya

America’s newest golden girl...a feminist...a movie star...a style icon. In 2010, while the Disney Channel sitcom Shake it Up was on the air, you would never have guessed what would become of 14-year-old Zendaya. The young cutie who won over our hearts as hip-hop dancer Rocky Blue quickly gained prominence, competing on season 16 ofDancing with the Stars at just 17 years old. She also signed with Hollywood Records and released multiple songs--her debut single “Replay” reached number 40 on the top 100 charts!

For the past two years, Zendaya has produced and starred in another Disney sitcom called K.C. Undercover (she plays high-school math genius K.C. Cooper). Z has told Variety in the past that her goal in portraying this character is to “show young girls a powerful female protagonist who [is] also a person of color.” With the series’ third season wrapped, it’s safe to say that Zendaya has done so thus far.

Zendaya is also just getting her start as a movie star, earning rave reviews for her small, yet brilliantly-played role as M.J. Jones in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Oh, and you may have heard of that mega-popular movie,The Greatest Showman?! Z’s impressive acrobatic skills as trapeze artist Anne Wheeler in the film prove that she can truly do it all.

In my eyes, what makes the world so enamored with the now 21-year-old is her killer red carpet style. Zendaya is not afraid to be bold, showcasing volume within her looks, graphic embellishments, androgynous style, and of course, wigs. Zendaya caused a nationwide conversation when she wore dreadlocks to accompany her white Vivienne Westwood gown at the 2015 Oscars. After E!hosts expressed unfavorable opinions, Zendaya stood as a powerful role model for people who wear locks on a daily basis, tweeting to her fans that the hairstyle is “a symbol of strength and beauty, almost like a lion’s mane.”

In 2016, the fashionista also launched a clothing line of her own: Daya by Zendaya. The collection--which Zendaya collaborates with celebrity stylist Law Roach on--is inspired by the streets of New York City and a crew of multicultural trendsetters. It features lounge styles, satin looks, denim, and jumpsuits so you can slay like Z on a daily basis. Another plus: she released a collection in collaboration with Aqua inspired by The Greatest Showman! The looks--fit for a style queen--are carried at Bloomindale's.

It was also just announced that Z will be starring in HBO's adaption of the Israeli series Euphoria, about how the death of a teen outside of a club affects local high-school students. I'll definitely be tuning in!

Zendaya is a true chameleon--she proves that it’s okay to take risks even if you don’t fit inside of a particular box. Being able to explore all different areas of the world and not be afraid to do so is exactly why we recognize Z as a fierce, innovative, extraordinary heroine.

With Bella Thorne (right) on Shake it Up

On Dancing with the Stars

In The Greatest Showman

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