Zendaya And John David Washington Talk ‘Malcolm & Marie’, Racist Comments & More

“Two Black actors in this setting, seems like rewriting history.”

Right through her various appearances, since the starting of her career, Zendaya has made it clear that she likes to switch up her style often. Fresh off her Netflix film Malcolm & Marie, Zendaya along with John David Washington made it to the latest cover of W Magazine, where she shared that her hairstyles are more than just style choices, which have helped her get through quite a lot.

Zendaya and John David Washington graced the W Magazine cover to discuss their recent project, and to showcase their on-screen chemistry in a new format.

Looking undeniably chic in an old-Hollywood-inspired photoshoot, Zendaya brought to life a series of stunning looks inspired by the 1950s. Styled by Kim Kimble, she wore a sheer yellow chiffon Valentino dress and teased blonde updo, while John David Washington wore a clean-cut Prada suit. 

Zendaya and John David Washington For W Magazine

Zendaya, like the true artist that she is, embraces every opportunity to play dress-up to tell stories. And this time, the Euphoria star wanted to recreate the grandeur and wealth synonymous with Slim Aarons photos, but with modern-day spin featuring Black actors. “Two Black actors in this setting, seems like rewriting history in an elegant manner, like kind of an Old Hollywood that we wished existed. It’s almost like righting a wrong,” she said. 

Law Roach, who styled the shoot, agreed with Zendaya, saying, “Doing a Slim Aarons shoot, but with Black actors. The visuals matter. The way change happens is when people can see wealth and grandeur in a way that they are not used to seeing it.”

Some of the most striking images from the shoot are shots of Zendaya and Washington dancing with each other in the house. While Zendaya stuns in a Miu Miu dress, John David Washington looks sharp in a Dior men’s shirt. 

For the cover, Zendaya looks absolutely elegant lounging on a yellow sofa, wearing a Gucci pleated dress and Bvlgari jewels. Matching her vibe, Washington sits at her feet, sporting a Frére suit and Dolce & Gabbana shoes.

Zendaya On Racism

However, the cover image wouldn’t have packed a punch without the crucial hair choice — a blonde wig. Zendays’s sense of style has always stirred a conversation for her statement-making choices. And this look took everyone back to the time when E! news anchor Giuliana Rancic explained her hair to “smell like patchouli oil and w***.”

The controversy sparked after Zendaya walked down the Oscars red carpet in a gorgeous Vivienne Westwood gown with her hair styled in dreadlocks. After the remark, Zendaya took to Instagram to call out the anchor for her “outrageously offensive” words.

“There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful. Someone said something about my hair at the Oscars that left me in awe. Not because I was relishing in rave outfit reviews, but because I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect,” she wrote. “To say that an 18-year-old young woman with locks must smell of patchouli oil or ‘w***’ is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive. I don’t usually feel the need to respond to negative things but certain remarks cannot go unchecked.”

“There is already a 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. I suggest some people should listen to India Arie’s ‘I Am Not My Hair,’ and contemplate a little before opening your mouth so quickly to judge,” she continued.

Shortly after the racially charged comment, a Zendaya -Barbie doll, clad in the dress and dreadlocks was created.

Recalling the 2015 incident, Zendaya said: “That’s how change happens and it made me think, ‘How could I always have a lasting impact on what people saw and associated with people of color?”

Cover Image Source

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