The actresses are proud to use their platforms to speak up for important causes.
If you follow the acting careers of Yara Shahidi and Zendaya, you know that their onscreen personas are working to be the empowering role models that we want to see everywhere on television. But in real life, the stars have made it their mission to use their respective platforms to engage with fans on important issues — like human rights, racism, and education advocacy — and speak out against the injustices they see happening in the world.
In a feature for Glamour, Yara actually interviewed her friend Zendaya, so she was able to ask her why it’s important for her to use her social media following and her platform to speak up for causes she cares about. This led to an important conversation between the two stars, who agreed that it’s really not even an option to stay silent.
“I can genuinely say that I’m not the same person I was a year ago. As my social platforms grew, I realized that my voice was so much more important than I had originally thought,” Zendaya shared.
“I think if every young person understood the power of their voice, things would be a lot different. And it’s becoming more popular to be outspoken.”
“It no longer feels like an option whether or not to be active,” Yara agreed. “We can’t ignore what’s happening.”
While it may feel “trendy” for some people to half-heartedly tweet their support for causes, both Yara and Zendaya are interested in actually making a difference, and using the interview opportunities they get because of their work as an opportunity to vocalize their efforts.
“I am inspired right now by people who use their platforms: If people know your name, they should know it for a reason,” Zendaya added.
So who are the wonderful women who inspire Z to be an inspiration to others?
“I’m obviously inspired by my mother, and I have an obsession with Oprah. She’s someone who, even with everything stacked against her, has soared to unbelievable heights,” she told Yara. “If she wants to create a network, she can do it. She wants to produce a movie? She can do it. But then also there’s this level of realness to her. You feel like she’s your auntie. [Shonda Rhimes] and then, Beyoncé. She took it to the next level with “Lemonade”. She’s got twins, and she’s banging. She’s killing it. And, of course, Michelle Obama, because that is an intelligent woman.”
That’s surely the most awesome role model list around!
Written by Kristine Hope Kowalski