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Nineteen-year-old Oakland native, Zendaya Coleman (known by just Zendaya) continues to make O-Town proud. This week, she spoke out against the ridiculous editing of her body in Modeliste magazine.

The stunning young actress/musician’s hips, thighs, and torso were edited to be longer and thinner by the fashion magazine, Modeliste. Claiming to be “a fashionista’s magazine,” they have shown to clearly play into the body-shaming techniques used by other media outlets that continue to degrade women worldwide.

[RELATED POST: 9 Images that Prove Photoshopping Fat on Celebs is NOT Body Positive]

Zendaya speaks about the degradation experienced by the magazine’s editing by saying “These are the things that make women self-conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have,” and “Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love.” Thankfully, Modeliste responded by taking the images down immediately.

If the name Zendaya sounds familiar but her music does not, you may be familiar with a similar issue that she ran into with Fashion Police in February 2015. Employing a rather racist stereotype, Guiliana Rancic commented on the beautiful young teen’s red carpet look of faux locs and a Vivienne Westwood gown:

“I feel that she smells like patchouli oil . . . or weed,” Rancic said during the Monday night show. “Yeah, maybe weed.”



“There’s a fine line between funny and disrespectful,” Zendaya responded.  She evoked images of dreadlocked “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, Harvard professor Vincent Brown, author Terry McMillan, and singer Ledisi when recalling images of powerful, successful folks. She continues, “There is already a harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”

[RELATED POST: It’s 2015, And Hollywood Still Has A Diversity Problem]

Rancic weakly responded that it was about the bohemian-chic look, and never about race.  It’s a shame that she could not get passed her “Good White Person” defense and truly explore the internalized racism that provokes such remarks. It could have been a truly positive discussion, but of course Fashion Police and E! would never let something like that go any further.

The Mattel Company, producers of Barbie, showed their surprising support by producing a doll based on that same look.

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Now, if they could just get the proportions right.

The platinum-record holding star continues to impress and prove herself to be a strong, feminist ally in a world that seeks to oppress women, especially black and brown women. She continues to create her own brand of unique pop sound and currently stars in the Disney series, K.C. Undercover, serving as a strong role model to folks young and old.

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Ungaro @faustopuglisi_wow @janellemonae

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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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