Our cover star, Zendaya Coleman, dazzles us with her activism, her carefree style and her powerful talent. This 22-year-old multi-disciplinary actor and singer has a career that spans her own fashion line, an album, a published book and an app. From her earlier days as a Disney girl and the youngest contestant on Dancing With the Stars, to her role as Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Zendaya continues to inspire.

Here’s why she’s the cover star we need:

1. Her bold fashion sense

Zendaya serves expressive looks and is unapologetic about her style. Her 2015 Oscars look inspired a new, game-changing Barbie. This was important as it meant representation for many little girls who could now have a doll that looked like them.

2. She doesn’t suffer fools

This same outfit led to some highly problematic comments by E!’s Fashion Police’s Giuliana Rancic who described the star as looking like she ‘smells like patchouli oil … or weed’. In an iconic social-media clapback, Zendaya responded: ‘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’.


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Read: Zendaya Just Offered A Modeling Job To A Woman Being Body-Shamed On Twitter

3. She’s body positive

When Zendaya became aware of a retouched image of herself, she took to Instagram to post the original un-retouched picture next to it. This body-positive move shows her refusal to accept the impossible beauty standards imposed on women and her willingness to expose them for what they are. It also speaks to the bravery of the star and encourages acts of self-love.

Read: A Magazine Tried To Slim Zendaya’s Body With Photoshop; She Had The Perfect Response

4. Her free spirit and love for Beyoncé

Zendaya’s carefree nature is refreshing and watching her passionately sing along to Beyoncé’s ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ is a real treat. There’s something unrestrained about her joy, which makes us smile.


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When you @beyonce af

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5. She’s not afraid to use her voice for advocacy

Zendaya uses her platform to do good. At 19, she used her personal social media to help raise funds for children orphaned by Aids in Africa. She’s been known to call out problematic people and trends, and she participates in activism regularly. Here’s the star pictured in a march to raise awareness around women’s rights:


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That’s right…

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We have so much love for our cover girl and look forward to watching her continue to thrive. You can read a more in-depth interview with Zendaya in the Marie Claire November issue.