This Gen Z Founder Is Pitching Hundreds Of Investors… Via Venmo

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Zendaya at the 2022
Vanity Off-white
Oscar Political party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo Courtesy: Lionel Hahn/Getty Images; Background: Zendaya in
(HBO); Zendaya in
(Warner Bros. Pictures).

Years before she was cleaning upwardly at the Emmys, Zendaya Coleman began her career equally a fill-in dancer and model. Now, the former child star is an award-winning actor — bated from her Leading Actress Emmy she’s nabbed a People’south Choice Award, a Black Reel Laurels, an INOCA Boob tube Laurels and a Satellite Award, merely to name a few. But Zendaya isn’t just an incredible performer and musician.

If you’ve ever looked at photos from the Met Gala or any carmine-carpet event, odds are that you’ve seen Zendaya’s keen style sense. In addition to consistently being 1 of the all-time-dressed celebs out there, she has her own fashion line, Daya past Zendaya.

With 125 million followers on Instagram and 19 million followers on Facebook and Twitter, Zendaya, similar many Gen Z stars, is a leading vocalisation in pop civilisation — and culture at large. Although she doesn’t describe herself as an activist (more than on that afterward), she uses her platform to spread awareness for a myriad of causes. In particular, she amplifies the concerns and voices of other Black Americans — and, in particular, women.

Here, we’re taking a look at how Zendaya, a erstwhile Disney star, became the laurels-winning lead of HBO’s
Euphoria, all while cementing her place as a leading voice of her generation.



Trilogy (2017–21)

Back in 2017, Zendaya joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) alongside Tom The netherlands, who’s now her partner in real life. Actualization in 3 Spidey films —
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man: Far From Home
(2019), and
Spider-Homo: No Fashion Home
(2021) — Zendaya played MJ, Peter Parker’s (Holland) classmate and long-time love interest.

Zendaya in
Spider-Human being: Homecoming. Photo Courtesy: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures Releasing

In a surprise to no one, (presumably white) fanboys were initially upset with the film’s casting choice — information technology’south no secret that racist (and transphobic) fans have thrown social-media fits near other casting choices in blockbuster franchises similar
Star Wars, too. Thankfully, Zendaya wasn’t driven off social media or sidelined similar other Disney stars (see: Kelly Marie Tran).

Zendaya and Tom The netherlands in
Spider-Human: Far From Home. Photo Courtesy: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures Releasing

For her comedic and heartfelt functioning as the sometimes-cool-as-a-cucumber and sometimes-bad-mannered-and-nervous teen, Zendaya earned a Saturn Award. While Far From Home may take been an MCU highlight for her, Zendaya returned in the fan-favorite
No Way Home, where she contended with non just ane, but 3 Spideys.

Although her hereafter in the MCU is uncertain — we won’t spoil the details, but Peter/Spider-Man is swinging solo by the terminate of
No Style Home
— she’s still with Holland. The 2 are sort of the celebrity couple cyberspace darlings nosotros didn’t know nosotros needed. And to think, the first (public) sparks flew during
lip-sync battle featuring Tom’s truly incredible performance of “Umbrella”.

In HBO’south teen drama serial,
Euphoria, Zendaya stars equally Rue Bennett, a sarcastic, mentally ill queer and non-binary teen who’s recovering later on a drug overdose, all while trying to observe her place in the world. Rue’due south Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is compounded past other mental illnesses; she’s depressed, something that’s merely worsened since her dad died, and lives with bipolar disorder.

And Rue has no intention of staying clean — until she meets new girl in town Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer).

Zendaya in the first season of
Euphoria. Photograph Courtesy: HBO

Instead of taking the
Gossip Daughter
route, the
route or fifty-fifty the
13 Reasons Why
goes for a blunt, darker take on a group of loftier-school students. All of them struggle in their own ways — with social media, body image bug, self-esteem, money, honey, mental disease, drugs — and they’re surrounded past adults who either helped shape this fraught, insular world, or aren’t much improve off themselves.

There’s something darkly lyrical virtually
— it’due south a character report and a stage play on screen, wrapped upward in neon makeup, an incredible score and bits of the surreal — or unreal — that merely serve to make it all the more than real. We could wax poetic for a while, especially when it comes to the standalone “Rue” and “Jules” episodes.

Zendaya in the 2d season of
Euphoria. Photo Courtesy: HBO

Permit’s just say that, without a convincing Rue, 1 you care for even when she makes all the wrong decisions, there wouldn’t exist a show. Zendaya’south functioning earned her a spot in Emmy history: in 2020, she became the youngest woman to win an Emmy for a leading function in a drama serial.

In her virtual credence oral communication, Zendaya noted that it felt like a weird time to exist jubilant anything, and that she admired all the piece of work her peers were doing in the streets — speaking out, marching and fostering other types of activism. For her, information technology’s not hard to encounter the spark of hope that immature people embody, even if
doesn’t ever lean into that sensibility.

Malcolm and Marie


In 2021, Netflix released another Sam Levinson/Zendaya project,
Malcolm and Marie, which co-starred John David Washington. The film centers a toxic relationship between the titular characters (Washington and Zendaya, respectively); Malcolm, a filmmaker who’southward well-nigh to make it in Hollywood used his girlfriend Marie’s story to build his career. Over the course of a night, all of the tension and tumult comes to a head — although it isn’t the first time.

John David Washington and Zendaya in
Malcolm and Marie. Photograph Courtesy: Netflix

Shot in black-and-white,
Malcolm and Marie
is a heavy film, simply its commentary on toxicity and the insecurities we bring to our relationships is cutting. More often than not, the performances are the standout thing here. But the movie besides received some backlash; it was written and directed past Levinson, a white man, and some viewers felt he shouldn’t be the ane telling the story of 2 Black characters.

“What’due south interesting is I call back a little scrap of our agency was stripped away,” Zendaya told the
New York Times
in reference to the backlash. “Like this was just kind of Sam spewing things through us without realizing that we are not only actors in this, simply we’re co-financiers and producers… We do have the credit, this is ours — and John David, I, and Sam every bit ain this film.”



Although Zendaya only appears in Denis Villeneuve’due south adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic 1965 novel,
Dune, for seven minutes, she certainly makes an impression. Non simply on Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), who has prophetic visions of her grapheme, Chani, throughout, but on the audience, also.

With Herbert’s book exceeding 400 pages, it’south no wonder the filmmakers decided to split up
into two films. Set in the distant futurity on a desert planet (Arrakis, a.k.a. “Dune”), this epic is total of world-edifice, lore and history. Villeneuve and his team made certain to carefully arts and crafts every chemical element of the film with precision and intendance; from the incredible costume design to the inspired casting to the stunning cinematography, everything feels

Zendaya in
Dune. Photograph Courtesy: Warner Bros. Pictures/HBO

Expected to hit theaters in 2023,
Dune: Part II
volition feature Zendaya’due south Chani much more than prominently. In the novel, the mysterious immature woman is put in accuse of protecting and guiding Paul when he and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), are taken in past the desert planet’south Indigenous people, the Fremen. Paul is a sort of chosen ane — a religious leader known amid the Fremen as Muad’Dib.

Equally you might expect, Chani and Paul develop a romantic connection, and Chani, who’s already a skilled fighter, is trained in an aboriginal martial arts (the “weirding fashion”) by Paul and Jessica, making her a formidable ally in the planet-wide fight against the villainous Harkonnens. All of this to say, nosotros tin’t wait to see Zendaya have on this thrilling adventure when
Part II
comes out.

A Few Other Reasons Zendaya
Is a Leading Vox Today

Zendaya’south Take on Being an Activist

Zendaya, a generation-defining player, uses her platform to advocate for the rights of women, Black folks and LGBTQ+ people. Equally a result, many of u.s.a. would, in fact, consider her an activist. Just, in her own words, Zendaya doesn’t feel deserving of the title.

As a immature Black adult female in Hollywood, Zendaya certainly feels the pressure level — non only to exercise great things, but to lift others upwards forth the way. While speaking to Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, Zendaya described herself equally, “an extra, merely I’m also just a person who has a centre and wants to practice the right thing.”

Outside the Metropolitan Museum of Fine art in New York, Zendaya arrives at the 2018 Met Gala wearing an outfit that fits the
Heavenly Bodies: Mode and the Catholic Imagination
theme. Photo Courtesy: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

She reiterated these sentiments at a
Hollywood Reporter
roundtable, stating that she feels an obligation to be aware and spread sensation. Clearly, Zendaya wants to respect the work of full-time activists, and doesn’t want to compare herself to them. We appreciate the approach; for her, doing the correct thing isn’t performative — and amplifying voices and social and political bug isn’t a trendy thing to exercise. For her, information technology all stems from a genuine urge to help others.

Her Inclusive Fashion Line, Daya by Zendaya

When Zendaya was a kid, her parents allow her choose her own clothes. This, according to the actor and manner lover, helped her effigy herself out and develop a unique sense of style. This ownership over her identity and self, which stemmed in large part from fashion, culminated in a clothing label — Daya past Zendaya. Everything in Zendaya’s directly-to-customer make is priced below $160, offering diverse and fashionable — nonetheless accessible options — to a wider audience. We also dear the line’s gender-neutral and size-inclusive approach.

In 2016, Zendaya unveils her Daya by Zendaya wear line in New York City. Photo Courtesy: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

While Zendaya’south iconic looks at the Met Gala accept helped make her the talk of the boondocks before, she took things to a whole new level past collaborating with American designer Tommy Hilfiger. The Tommy x Zendaya collection stole the show at the New York Fashion Week. Hilfiger sent a note to guests ahead of the evidence, explaining that the collaboration was designed to “redefine power dressing at its core” and “gloat and champion [the] empowerment [of women] through fashion.”

As a Mental Health Advocate, Zendaya Is Leading By Example

Anxiety oft stems from some root cause — our bodies and minds want to protect us from reliving events that caused us pain, sadness or embarrassment, for example. Speaking candidly most her ain anxiety, Zendaya identified a 2013 operation on
The Ellen DeGeneres Bear witness
(2003–22) as her root. Due to a technical hitch, she wasn’t very proud with her performance in the end. To brand matters worse, it was 1 of her start moments being recorded live (and, afterward, broadcast on Goggle box).

But Zendaya establish ways to manage her feet and put her mental health first. In sharing her experiences, she hopes to assistance others who deal with anxiety and broken-hearted thoughts. Her advice? Step back from your triggers, from those things that activate your feet. For Zendaya, that meant taking a suspension from live performances and focusing on other aspects of her career. When she was ready to return to the live stage, so to speak, she establish that it wasn’t as activating.

Zendaya poses with a fan for a selfie at a 2016 Daya by Zendaya pop-upwards upshot in New York Urban center. Photo Courtesy: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

But sharing her experiences isn’t the only way Zendaya has shown she puts mental health beginning. Ahead of the premiere of
Euphoria’s 2nd season, the star took to social media and posted about how proud she was of the season, but also pointed out that watching
Euphoria, with its potentially activating content, might not exist a proficient decision for everyone. Here, Zendaya put her fans and their mental health first, acknowledging that they tin support her while also doing what’south all-time for themselves.

Speaking Up For Trans Rights and Queer Stories

In an interview with
British Vogue, Zendaya responded quite brilliantly to the age-old “What is feminism?” question. The role player said that true feminism has to be intersectional and inclusive of
women, whether they look like you or non, whether they share experiences with you lot or take experiences that differ.

With her role in
, Zendaya portrayed one of the just cis-trans love stories on Television receiver, aslope trans co-star Hunter Schafer in the testify’s first season. For playing a queer graphic symbol then honestly and beautifully, and for bringing that much-needed representation to such an acclaimed evidence, Zendaya received a Gamechanger Award from the GLSEN in 2017.

Hunter Schafer and Zendaya in the beginning flavour of
Euphoria. Photo Courtesy: HBO

In small means, she’south tried to move the dial away from heteronormativity, too. In an interview with
Vanity Fair, she was asked, “What quality [exercise] you lot most like in a man?” — to which she replied, “I ‘most like in a person’, how near that?” Again, it might seem small just it’southward those everyday, almost mundane acts of allyship that really assist create change.

When asked about her interest in directing, Zendaya used the moment to not only talk about her hereafter ambitions behind the photographic camera, merely share the kind of stories she hopes to assist make more of down the line. “A elementary love story about ii Black girls,” she suggested. “Something unproblematic and beautiful, that leaves you happy and wanting to fall in beloved yourself.” Without a doubt, we can’t wait to see — and feel — that.