I’ve been back and forth on this one. I love that Zendaya looks strong and confident. I wish the eyeliner weren’t quite so overpowering, in an Annie Potts/Pretty In Pink way. I love the curly hair, but I’m turned off by the cobwebs oozing off her shirt. I love that, even though I misread a cover line as “This Is How You Get A Baby Bump,” I’m still drawn right back to her. I’ve read the other cover lines a couple times and I still can’t tell you what they are, other than the one that is NOT about a baby bump, because I keep staring at Zendaya and the rest just floats away. That’s the sign of an effective cover. And I’m really pleased that this is about strength rather than sex; about the fight rather than the flirting. So I’m coming down on the positive side.
Yara Shahidi interviewed Zendaya for the article, and it’s one of the more effective celeb-on-celeb chats; generally I’m not a fan of that format, in part because interviewing a person is a much harder job than it seems, but also because it invariably ends up being just as much about the questioner. You start forgetting which one is on the cover, and Q&As often get so abridged that they feel choppy. But these two come off as genuine friends, and as thoughtful young women who are not taking their success lightly. They both are worth hearing, so it’s nice to see them speaking their truths to each other. For example, the topic of race comes up, and Zendaya notes:
“There needs to be a black family on the Disney Channel. A lot of people who aren’t people of color can’t quite understand what it’s like to grow up and not see yourself in mainstream media. And you know, there is so much work left to be done. I’ve talked about this before, but can I honestly say I would be in the position I’m in if I weren’t a lighter-skinned black woman? No.”
Give it a look; it’s not too long (I actually wish it was longer) and it’ll give you some hope that These Kids Today really are going to be all right.