Since Zendaya Coleman took on former Fashion Police co-host Giuliana Rancic with a thoughtful essay on the history of dreads, she's become something of a de facto spokeswoman for the constant instances of cultural appropriation we are bombarded with. The actress spoke on the issue during a recent interview with Nylon.
Zendaya pointed out that there can be a difference between appropriating a culture and appreciating it. "You can go about it as cultural appreciation or cultural appropriation," she told Nylon. "You have to be very careful. Some things are really sacred and important to other cultures, so you have to be aware, politically, about those things before you just adopt them."
Zendaya says that understanding something is crucial to adopting a style respectfully. "You don’t just wear something just to wear it—you have to understand the history behind it," she says. "I urge people to take the extra step of knowledge and learn about things"
Cultural appropriation has been a hot topic recently. Kylie Jenner was called out by Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg for wearing cornrows, Paris Fashion Week featured controversial collections from Junya Watanabe and Thom Browne, and a magazine used a white woman to model an afro.