Singer and actress Zendaya is no stranger to others critiquing her body. But rather than accept this treatment, she has persistently pushed back on public figures and other critics who perpetuate these ideals. Now, she's even calling out a magazine that made her its cover model.
Zendaya was "shocked" that her "19-year-old hips and torso" appeared "quite manipulated" in photos featured in this month's issue of Modeliste magazine, she wrote on Instagram yesterday. Although the magazine removed the images and fixed the alterations, the star decided to post the original photo next to the manipulated version to demonstrate just how unrealistic many images in the media are.
"These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have," she wrote.
It's not the first time Zendaya has spoken out about the importance of embracing one's natural appearance, either. She has continuously defended other women's beauty choices as well as her own — perhaps most notoriously her decision to wear her hair in dreadlocks at the Oscars. She did so, she wrote, "to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough."
Zendaya's stand is particularly important considering that studies show unrealistic beauty standards in the media can significantly impact viewers' self-conception and self-esteem. In fact, 3 out of 4 American teenage girls feel depressed, guilty and shameful after spending three minutes leafing through a fashion magazine, and 80% of 10-year-old American girls have already been on a diet.
It's one many are applauding on social media, as well.
"Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love," Zendaya wrote on Instagram. It's clear from this post — and likely more to come — that she truly means it.