If you haven't found enough reasons to love Zendaya already, well, we're about to hit you with tons more. When she's not calling out makeup shamers or schooling fashion reporters on “outrageously offensive” stereotypes, she shares some killer advice with her fans IRL. This weekend, she stopped by BeautyCon LA for a Q&A panel with Olivia Culpo and Joe Zee, and we were lucky enough to be there to hear ALL her fashion tips firsthand.
She shared everything from her favorite style icons to being her own boss to creating her signature look, and TBH, we could barely handle all her awesomeness—so, we thought we share some inspiring words straight from the girl herself. Check out some highlights below!
On using Instagram to empower other women:
"With social media, for me, with great power, comes great responsibility. [...] I use that power for good messages—to send positive things and to empower other young women with 'Hey, you look good today.' I feel like it's so important, and we have that power to help each other. Even if it's just a simple comment on Instagram or reposting a cool story or 'Hey, great job with this.' [...] I think my position on Twitter or Instagram is to really try to leverage it not just for myself for selfish reasons, but for things I'm passionate about."
On experimenting with her own signature style:
"Honestly, I just admire people that do what they want—that either have created their own style or go against the grain. There's people like Solange who created her own style and she has her own taste. [...] Then, there's people that like to just do whatever, and I'm one of those people. [...] It's OK to experiment and to not be popping all the time. It's OK to not have a cute day. OK, so you tried it and it didn't work out, try something else. Now is the time to really explore and find out who you are, and that's what I think is really important for fashion."
On gaining acceptance from the fashion world:
"For me, it's been a long process to get people to see me in a different light. When you're a young Disney star, they're like, 'That girl from Shake It Up? I don't want her in my dress.' You gotta build, and that's why I started taking fashion risks and I was like, 'Oh, you don't see me like this? Well, you're gonna see me like this now.' Eventually my stylist and I, we broke down a lot of doors. There's a lot of things I still want to accomplish when it comes to fashion, like shows I still want to go to and people I still want to meet, but it's all growing. It's a process, but it's fun."
On loving yourself first and feeling empathy for those that don't:
"There's many ways to deal with the [internet] hate. You can let it absorb and consume you, or you can learn how to deal with it in the right way. You have to learn how to love yourself. [...] You have to realize, we don't know those people. I don't know what you're going through, I don't know your life. Commenting something mean to me could've been the best thing to happen to you all day. You have to have compassion and empathy for whoever is behind that screen, and it doesn't hurt you as much."
On responding to internet haters:
"It's about using your knowledge and taking the time. If it's something that really hurt you, and if you feel like it's something other people are affected by, don't be afraid of your voice, but make sure you do it in the right way. Don't be ignorant, don't just slander. Take your time and create an educated response and say something that makes sense, hopefully to enlighten or educate that person—not to just beat them down."
On staying grounded:
"No one will have your back like your family. I'm very grateful to have a great support system in general. I've got brothers and sisters and aunties and uncles who almost make a little bubble around me. If I have a problem, they will shield me. A lot of people surround themselves with a lot of 'yes' men and not a lot of 'no' men, and you need people to tell you, 'No, that's not cool,' or 'Hey, you need to cut that out.' I've got plenty of 'no' men."
On being fearless:
"I think the entertainment business in general, you get told a lot what to do, and I've come to the point where it's like, 'I'm the boss,' you know what I mean? 'I'm the boss. I'm gonna do what I want to do.'"