Zendaya Claps Back at Critics Who Think She Can’t Do It All: You Shouldn’t ‘Box Yourself In’


Zendaya Slams Critics Who Think She Can’t Do It All
Zendaya at The 45th Annual People’s Choice Awards on November 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

The sky’s the limit for Zendaya! The former Disney Channel talent candidly spoke about not being limited by others’ expectations of her.

In an interview for Allure’s December 2019/January 2020 issue, the Smallfoot voice star opened up how she has managed to balance her increasingly busy career along with how she carries herself in the public eye. She additionally shared her thoughts on the saying “You can’t do it all,” which the publication noted was a phrase Zendaya found unfavorable.

“It makes me mad. I don’t like the idea that you have to box yourself in or stay in one lane,” Zendaya, 23, told the magazine. “Why wouldn’t I want to try to make the most of my talents and my gifts while I can?”

Zendaya Slams Critics Who Think She Can’t Do It All
Zendaya on the January 2019/January 2020 cover of Allure magazine.

The Greatest Showman actress said she wanted “to be a part of the change,” before adding: “It’s important that creatives of all races, if they have an opportunity or platform, use it to make room for other people.”

Since moving on from her Disney Channel projects, Zendaya has continued to make strides in the industry. She appeared as Michelle “MJ” Jones in the Tom Holland-led Spider-Man franchise, was the runner-up on Dancing with the Stars’ 16th season and released a self-titled debut solo album in 2013. She even put her fashion expertise to work to design the Tommy x Zendaya collection for Tommy Hilfiger and Daya by Zendaya.

Zendaya’s acting chops were showcased in a new light when she landed the lead role on HBO’s gritty teen drama, Euphoria. In the popular series, the K.C. Undercover alum plays Rue, a high school student who is navigating the ups and downs of her teen years while battling her substance abuse issues.

“Somehow Rue felt very natural to me,” she told Allure, despite previously stating in 2017 that she abstains from alcohol. “She didn’t feel like a huge — watch it, that looks funny. … Rue just seemed so much like me.”

In a 2017 Glamour profile on Zendaya, Yara Shahidi — who conducted the interview — spoke highly of the fellow actress in the story’s intro regarding her ability to try her hand at anything.

“What I love about my friend Zendaya is that you cannot categorize her,” Shahidi, 19, wrote. “She is a true creative. Within her acting world, no two characters are the same. As an entrepreneur, a talented musician, and a ridiculously fierce dancer, she is focused and driven.”

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