On Monday, the former Disney talent received the Style Star Award at the InStyle Awards 2017 inside L.A.’s Getty Center, where she arrived in one super glamorous ombré Schiaparelli Fall 2017 Couture dress matched with a majestic afro. She looked fabulous indeed, but her speech is what roused the crowd.
After her go-to stylist, Law Roach, introduced her to the stage and said she possesses “the beauty of a model but the poise of a princess,” Zendaya took to the mic to thank him for helping her find her confidence, which proved that Roach’s words are certainly true.
“Fashion has given me that vehicle to not care. Literally, the only opinion that should matter when you step outside the house or when you wear something and you put something on when you look in the mirror should be your own,” she said. “I thank you for pushing me to be confidence and pushing me to take chances.”
So why does she always break the rules of fashion in the chicest way possible? To inspire young girls. She said she makes unforgettable style choices—like wearing an afro to the InStyle Awards—to show people they too can break barriers.
“We should stop living by the definitions that other people give us and live our own. That’s what fashion has allowed me to do,” she continued, telling guests and honorees like Selena Gomez, Cate Blanchett, and Demi Lovato to keep it up.
“Continue, every single one of you, to be extraordinary and brilliant and unique in your own way because that’s what the world needs right now, is people who are exactly who they are. Continue to do you and don’t let anyone stop that shine,” she said.
Blanchett herself was impressed with the 21-year-old actress's words. "I thought what Zendaya said was fantastic about being true to herself and not really caring about what you wear about how you present yourself. It’s got to be how you feel," she told InStyle. "It’s really great to hear a younger generation—who are beset by likes and dislikes and a myriad of opinions about their appearances as young women—[express] their strength and courage to be extraordinary individuals that they are."
Talk about inspiring all around.
—With reporting by Ericka Franklin