*Zendaya Coleman’s 2015 Oscars look created headlines when E! correspondent, Giuliana Rancic, made ignorant and seemingly racist remarks about her faux dreadlocks, saying, “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil and weed.” When Zendaya and others called out Rancic’s comment, she issued an apology on air.
Zendaya countered Rancic’s comments with an eloquent response about stereotypes and self-love.
“There is already 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,” Zendaya wrote on Instagram at the time. “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.”
Her words inspired many, including the people at Barbie, who asked Zendaya to host their Rock ‘N Royals concert in Hollywood, Calif on September 26, where they’ll present her with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll in the likeness of her controversial 2015 Oscars look. No word yet if these dolls will hit store shelves for consumers.
— Barbie (@Barbie) September 18, 2015
The toy manufacture in honoring the young starlet for encouraging girls to “raise their voices,” and for inspiring individuals to be themselves.
“I’m excited to be a part of the new direction the Barbie brand is headed, specifically how they are celebrating diversity in the line and encouraging kids to raise their voices,” Coleman said in a statement. “It’s a positive message to send to my fans, including my nieces who are coming with me to the concert.”
While Zendaya continues to make a name for herself as a chart-topping singer, Disney Channel star and producer and fashionista, it’s her public display of maturity in dealing with online trolls that’s cementing her position as a role model, Yahoo Celebrity reports.
“Being brought up in an environment where I’ve been able to have a voice, and knowing your value… I think that alone allows me to communicate that way,” she tells Yahoo Celebrity. ” But it’s also growing up and learning how to handle situations. I learned from trial and error — responding to something in a certain way and then realizing, ‘No, that wasn’t right. Let’s try that again.’ You learn to take your time with certain responses, and really think, and use your brain.”