Zendaya has never been one to bite her tongue when it comes to one attacking her or stealing her culture.
While speaking to Pop Sugar, the megastar voiced why she takes the topic of cultural appropriation seriously. “If something feels personal to your culture or to your background, then you take that personally and you feel affected by it. You can’t tell someone not to be upset about it.”
Narrowing down to one specific problem, she addressed the problem with the recent praise for “boxer braids” aka cornrows.
“Braids are not new,” Zendaya said. “Black women have been wearing braids for a very long time. We’ve been using that as a protective style, as a hairstyle.”
“Another problem is it became new and fresh and fun, because it was on someone else other than a black woman.” She continued making it very clear that the media has an agenda when it comes to black fashion and hair. “You know what I mean? So that is the frustration. That’s where the culture appropriation element comes into play.”
The 19-year-old made sure in her interview she highlighted another power teen, Amandla Stenberg, who has made headlines speaking on cultural appropriation as well.
My girl Amandla [Stenberg], who is super dope, brought up another problem. She wished society loved black people as much as they love black culture. That’s the truth. The credit gets taken away from us when we make certain statements or when we do certain things. That is the frustration. People want to be around for the positives and the things that we bring as far as culture, but they don’t want to be around when we have problems or when we’re getting shot in the streets. You know what I’m saying? You have to be there for the whole experience. You can’t just decide when you want to be a part of our culture.