Staff Writer: Alazja Kirk
Zendaya is one of the last great talents to emerge from Disney’s youth ranks, according to GQ Australia.
She has blossomed into a successful singer and actress, starring in No. 1 box-office films like Spider-Man while also proving her acting skills even more in HBO’s Euphoria. Earlier this fall, she took her TommyXZendaya collection to New York Fashion Week — where her Euphoria co-stars were ready to cheer her on.
As a result, GQ Australia named the 23-year-old actress, fashion designer, role model and activist “Woman of the Year.”
Through her busy schedule and accomplishments, Zendaya has managed to be one of the world’s most influential young stars. She told GQ her family is the main reason she’s been able to be patient in choosing her projects and continue to be as successful as she has been in the past.
Edwina McCann, editorial director of GQ Australia and editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia, presented Zendaya’s award.
“It’s hard to pick a highlight when this next winner’s entire year has been full of them,” McCann said.” From starring in one of the biggest films of 2019 to designing her fashion collection with Tommy Hilfiger and leading one of the most acclaimed TV shows of the year.”
Zendaya accepted her award with a speech to address the challenges of constantly working 24/7 — something that many college students can probably identify with. She explains how crazy it felt to be crowned Woman of the Year, considering she is just 23 years old and figuring out how to be a woman herself.
“I don’t know what to say – it’s a huge honor,” she said. “I feel like sometimes I go and I go, and I think a lot of us can relate to this, but you go so hard and you forget to stop and take in moments like this.”
Sometimes Zendaya feels like the amount of work she has taken over her life, and she forgets to be present in her most important moments.
“Just be happy, and just be alive for a second,” she continued.
Laura Paul, a biology pre-med major at Hampton University, said: “As college students, I think we can relate to Zendaya despite her being famous. Among our school work, social life and extracurricular activities, our schedules are always busy.”
Zendaya promised to try and make more efforts to live in the moment more and urged others to do the same.
“So that’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to take a second to look around and think, ‘This is happening,’” She said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Angie Florence, an architect major at Hampton University, said: “I needed this. … A subtle reminder that it is OK to take time for myself … to make time for myself.”
Zendaya ended her speech reminding everyone to take a look around at how beautiful everything is and enjoy it.