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zendaya vogue.png

Zendaya On Being Her Family's Breadwinner As A Teen: 'I Wish I Went To School'

By Emily Richardson | Celebrity | April 9, 2024 |

By Emily Richardson | Celebrity | April 9, 2024 |

zendaya vogue.png

Next month, actress/singer/fashun queen Zendaya will co-chair the Met Gala, alongside Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, and, of course, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. So it’s no surprise Zendaya is covering the May issue of Vogue. Actually, she’s covering two: Vogue US (see header pic) and British Vogue. You can check out both covers in full, as well as pics from the photoshoots, at the bottom of this article.

The accompanying interview is the same for both Vogues. The Dune 2 press tour is, like, soooo two months ago; now, 27-year-old Zendaya has moved on to promoting that sexy-looking new tennis romcom, Challengers.

For part of the Vogue piece, Zendaya Zoom-chats with tennis legend Serena Williams, and the pair discuss starting their careers so young. Serena asks Zendaya, “What was the other option for you? What were your goals growing up?” Here’s her answer:

“Hmm. It’s funny,” Zendaya says, “because it’s something that I’m figuring out now. I don’t know how much of a choice I had. I have complicated feelings about kids and fame and being in the public eye, or being a child actor. We’ve seen a lot of cases of it being detrimental…. And I think only now, as an adult, am I starting to go, ‘Oh, okay, wait a minute: I’ve only ever done what I’ve known, and this is all I’ve known.’”

Zendaya grew up in Oakland and got her start in dance troupes, community theater, and child modeling. She got her big break at age 13, when she was cast as the co-lead (with Bella Thorne) in the Disney sitcom, Shake It Up. After that, a normal life was out of the question. Zendaya tells Vogue she feels like she’s going through her “angsty teenager phase now,” because she “didn’t really have the time to do it before.” She continues:

“I felt like I was thrust into a very adult position: I was becoming the breadwinner of my family very early, and there was a lot of role-reversal happening, and just kind of becoming grown, really.” She’d felt that she needed to be “this perfect being, and be everything that everyone needs me to be, and live up to all these expectations.”

Zendaya thinks that focusing on her career at such a young age cost her some perspective:

“Now, when I have these moments in my career—like, my first time leading a film that’s actually going to be in a theater—I feel like I shrink, and I can’t enjoy all the things that are happening to me, because I’m like this”—Zendaya balls up her fists. “I’m very tense, and I think that I carry that from being a kid and never really having an opportunity to just try shit. And I wish I went to school.”

Serena asks Zendaya what going to school on a TV set is like. Vogue writes, “to hear Zendaya tell it, only barely.” Hmmm. Reason #1,000,000 to not push your kid into showbiz.

Here are Zendaya’s Vogue covers:

And some pics from her photoshoots:

Oh, and here she is breaking down 23 looks from her career: