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23 Times Zendaya Was The Best Damn Role Model There Is

"I think I’ve successfully made a show that not only allows for representation but sees girls in a powerful and strong position."

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1. When she explained why she returned to the Disney Channel with KC Undercover after Shake It Up ended.

Instagram: @zendaya

"When I left Disney, there weren’t any families of colour on the channel. That was a big reason why I wanted to come back," she told Variety. "I think I’ve successfully made a show that not only allows for representation but sees girls in a powerful and strong position."

3. When she told the story of the time she ran circles around a room full of Disney executives when she was only 16.

“I wanted to make sure that she wasn’t good at singing or acting or dancing," she said of her character in KC Undercover. "That she wasn’t artistically inclined. I didn’t want them to all of a sudden be like, ‘Oh, yeah, and then she sings this episode!’ No. She can’t dance; she can’t sing. She can’t do that stuff. There are other things that a girl can be. I want her to be martial arts–trained. I want her to be able to do everything that a guy can do. I want her to be just as smart as everybody else. I want her to be a brainiac. I want her to be able to think on her feet. But I also want her to be socially awkward, not a cool kid. I want her to be normal with an extraordinary life.”

6. And when Giuliana Rancic made racist comments about her locs on Fashion Police, and she stood up for herself in a totally classy and badass fashion.

13. When she stood up for women across the country by attending the Women's March back in January.

Instagram: @zendaya

15. When someone made a disrespectful comment about her parents, and she didn't hesitate in putting them in their place.

Instagram: @zendaya

"While you're so concerned about what my parents look like, please know that these are two of the most selfless people in the world," she wrote. "They have chosen to spend their entire lives not worrying about trivial things such as looks and insulting people's parents on Twitter, but instead became educators who have dedicated their lives to teaching, cultivating, and filling young, shallow minds (one of the most important yet underpaid jobs we have)."

16. When she gave her number one piece of fashion and beauty advice and it was, of course, super inspirational.

Marie Claire /

"The person that you should be waiting to hear 'I'm pretty' from is yourself." 😭

18. (And, of course, the pictures were the flame emoji personified.)

Instagram: @zendaya

20. When she was the subject of bodyshaming comments after an appearance at the Kids' Choice Awards, and she hit back ruthlessly yet with grace.

Instagram: @zendaya

"Do you find this funny?" she tweeted comedian Julie Klausner. "I will write another paragraph to educate you as well. Now... Everyone go look in the mirror at their beautiful body, and love that shit. #thickgirlswinning #skinnygirlswinning #weallwinning"

23. And whenever she posts a fire selfie on Instagram, because let's be honest, these looks deserve to be worshipped.

Instagram: @zendaya

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