Zendaya graces the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine and opens up about why she chose to return to the Disney channel in ‘K.C. Undercover.’ She also reveals a shocking incident of racial insensitivity and how she responded.
Now 19 years old, Zendaya has landed the coveted cover of Cosmopolitan magazine as she completes the first season of the series, ‘K.C. Undercover,’ on the Disney Channel. For years, she was known to the public as Rocky Blue in the Disney sitcom ‘Shake It Up.’ While some of her contemporaries at that age are moving away from Disney and establishing adult identities and careers in various ways — both productive, and not so much so — she stands out for that alone, for returning to the channel.
But this time around, she is both the star and the co-producer of the series which sees her portraying a high school student in training to be a spy like her parents.
She told Cosmo, “The only way I was going to come back to the Disney Channel was if I was in a position of more power.”
She went on to say, “One thing that is really important to me is diversity on the channel. It’s hard as a young person of a different ethnicity or background to look at the TV and not see anyone who looks like you. Representation is very important.”
And yes, speaking of diversity, she opened up about an appalling experience of racial insensitivity. She said, “I didn’t like my hair and makeup one time on a photo shoot, and my publicist told me, ‘You should just be happy with it — they haven’t had a black girl on the cover since forever.’ She’s no longer my publicist.”
Surprising? Sadly no. We’ve seen Zendaya as the target of many a controversy over her hair, her physical features, her skin color and more. There was, after all, the firestorm that erupted when ‘Fashion Police’ star Giuliana Rancic made offensive comments about her dreadlocks at the Oscars red carpet. She responded with gracefulness, taking the proverbial high road in an interview last year, saying, in part, “I want to continue to be that positive light or positive influence for young people because I feel like sometimes we lack that.
A couple of years ago she was originally cast to portray Aaliyah in the Lifetime movie biopic that was dogged with controversy from the start. Her casting itself was controversial as some were critical over her lack of resemblance to the late legendary 1990s singer.
You can see more of the interview excerpts here and see Zendaya’s Cosmopolitan cover and photos below!
Pictures: PR Photos