Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Singer Zendaya Calls Out Giuliana Rancic for Offensive Hair Comments
Direct link: https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/singer-zendaya-calls-out-giuliana-rancic-for-111954684778.html
Zendaya with dreadlocks at the Academy Awards on Sunday Night (Getty Images).
E!'s Fashion Police are known for their harsh criticism of stars looks on the red carpet, but this time, host Giuliana Rancic may have taken things too far. During Monday night's broadcast of the post-Oscars Fashion Police show, Rancic commented on actress and singer Zendaya's choice to wear dreadlocks on the Oscars red carpet, saying, "I feel like she smells like patchouli oil. Or weed. Maybe weed?"
Zendaya took to Twitter on Monday night to respond to Rancic's comments, calling her remarks "outrageously offensive." In the Twitter post, which has over 35,000 retweets and 38,000 favorites, Zendaya lists prominent men and women who also wear their hair in dreadlocks and recommends that people go and listen to India Arie's song, "I Am Not My Hair," before judging others. "There is already 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," says the singer. "My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough."
Many of Zendaya's fans, including Khloé Kardashian, took to Twitter in support of her statement and look.
Rancic tried to clear the air on Twitter early Tuesday morning suggesting that her comment was not related to race. "I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!" But this might only be the beginning of a much larger discussion about beauty and race.
Zendaya was born on September 1, 1996 in Oakland, California, to father Kazembe and to mother Claire Stoermer. Her father is African-American and her mother is white. Zendaya grew as a part of the nearby California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, where her mother works as the house manager, and additionally trained with the theater's student conservatory program. Zendaya has performed in numerous stage productions. Zendaya also helped her mother seat patrons and sell raffle tickets to benefit the theater. While she was attending Oakland School for the Arts she starred as Little Ti Moune in Once on This Island at the Berkeley Playhouse and the breakout role of the male character Joe in Caroline, or Change at Palo Alto's TheaterWorks.
She studied her craft at the Cal Shakes Conservatory Program and at the American Conservatory Theater. Her other stage credits include Richard III, Twelfth Night, and As You Like It. Zendaya's official site states that her name derives from the word meaning "to give thanks" in Shona (a Bantu language native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe). She also spent three years dancing with her former dance group called Future Shock Oakland. They danced such dances as Hip Hop and Hula.