Zendaya Wants You To Stop Doing THIS On Social Media

For most of us, the Zendaya we know comes courtesy of social media: The star regularly shuts down haters, has the courage to try every beauty look you can imagine (including a mullet), and even does her own makeup for the red carpet, often showing off her skills on Snapchat.

The common theme here? Confidence. And considering she's only 19 (in an industry rife with criticism), hers is pretty noteworthy.

So where does it all come from? We sat down with the multi-hyphenate — her growing résumé includes actress, singer, designer, spokesperson, and more — to get a small taste of where she finds inspiration, who she looks up to, her dos and don'ts of social media, and, of course, all things beauty.

From beauty to politics, you always seem to say what we're thinking. What do you wish people did more of — or less of — on their own social media accounts?
"One thing that I do wish, and it is still something I deal with as well, is that we should stop looking for validation on social media [when it comes to] who we are and how we feel about ourselves. The power to decide how you feel about yourself should be in your hands, not someone else's. That’s my number-one thing."

What does that look like to you?
"You can always tell the difference between someone who posts a picture because they love their body — and that confidence is beautiful — and when someone posts because they want someone to tell them they're beautiful, you know what I mean? It’s the motivation behind what you post."

If I let people’s comments about me wearing a mullet at the Grammys, or me wearing whatever, bother me, I would never wear anything but a plain black dress all the time.


We recently did a story about beauty renegades — in other words, icons who push boundaries. Who would you consider a beauty renegade?
"People who just don’t give an F — and when you get there, that's great. It’s kind of like what I have been able to do with style. If I let people’s comments about me wearing a mullet at the Grammys, or me wearing whatever, bother me, I would never wear anything but a plain black dress all the time. My life would be completely defined by what people decide is good for me. Once you get to the point where you say, 'If I like it, I’m going to wear it'...everything is so much better, you have so much more fun."

Do you have any tips for those who aren’t quite there, but want to be?
"Know it’s a process; it doesn’t happen overnight. There was a time when I would overthink what I did on red carpets. I'd think, What are they going to think or say? It’s a process. My mom is dealing with it now, and she’s a grown woman in her 50s. So it can happen to any woman at any time."
You’re very confident in your makeup skills — do you watch lots of video tutorials?
"I do. I am one of those people that kind of rabbit-holes [with] videos. If I am on Instagram and I find a page with beauty videos, I'll watch one, and then I keep going, and then all of a sudden you’re like 8,000 videos in — it’s a problem. I also watched a lot of YouTube videos when I was little."

Are there any hair looks that you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t yet?
"I mean...no. [laughs] I have pretty much hit everything; I am sure there will be more out there that I can try — and I probably will. Everything that I have tried — maybe I look back and I don’t like it, or maybe I look back and I love it — it’s all evolution. It’s all my process."
When did you first start buying makeup?
"I don't even know... I do remember I used to break into my mom's makeup. My mom has never really worn makeup — she was never into that stuff when I was younger — so she had this box of makeup that she never used. It was probably super-old and expired, and I would totally have fun with it."

You're an ambassador for the Chi brand now — what is your favorite tool from the collection?
"My favorite tool is the blowdryer because it’s a smart blowdryer; it has a touch screen. It doesn’t have that weird smell; you know how blowdryers have that weird smoky smell? And your hair doesn't get stuck in the back...

"And you can change the ions. This is going to sound weird, but when you turn up the ions and you feel the air on your hand, it almost feels like conditioner air. I sound nuts, [but] it feels like the air has conditioner in it. It feels like humid air — but it’s not wet."

What about products? What's your go-to?
"I like the argan oil collection because my hair needs a little bit more moisture, so that gives me what I need; the mask and the oil are great."

Thanks to social media, many of us feel as if we know you very well. What do people not know about you?
"People may not know that everything that I have I've had to work for; I come from two teachers, in Oakland. I don't have industry parents, and no one knew this was going to happen for me. Well, I knew. [laughs] But this isn't where I'm from...it's been a journey."