Zendaya, 19, who is considered as glossy’s “Woman of Next Year,” which covers Complex magazine’s December issue posting with naked mannequins.
As stated by Zendaya during her interview in Complex,
Do you actively think about being a role model?
“Of course. I think it’s a responsibility, but like Tupac Shakur, I’m a real model. Which means: I’m not pretending to be something that I’m not, because like he said, people are going to be disappointed when they find out who you are, because it’s not going to be what you presented to the world. So just keep it real. I’m a good kid and that’s all.”
Who’s on your radar for 2016? Who do you think will be big?
“Oh my god, there’s so many people! That’s a big question. I would say Kehlani. I’m biased because she’s like my sister, because she also went to Oakland School for the Arts with me and we met when I was in sixth grade and she was in eighth grade. She was one of the first people that was nice to me when I was new to middle school, which was obviously awkward and weird for me. And in school there’s this thing where everybody had families, like daughter, sister, brother, aunties, uncles, cousins, whatever. So I was her daughter. Then we were like, “OK, we’re grown now, now we’re sisters, alright.” But she had always been nice to me when I was little. We grew up in the same area but doing very different things and going on very different paths, but also being in the same circles and the same worlds. It’s cool to see her do her thing. I’m really happy for her.”
Growing up biracial, what was it like to find your identity?
“You get the best and the worst of both worlds. I know there were a lot of times when you try to figure out where you fit in. I just realized that it worked to my advantage because I just got along with a lot of people. But to literally be two races, it’s really hard to see color because I’m the gray area. I had to learn about both sides of myself and be really proud of and educated in both. I think that’s why I’m comfortable with myself and can speak on certain issues because I’ve taken the time, or my parents have taken the time, to teach me who I am.”
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