Zendaya Coleman, queen of the red carpet, human rights activist, and star of Disney’s K.C. Undercover, has weird feet. Or so online trolls have been declaring across social media in response to a poolside photo the 21-year-old posted recently.
The actress, dressed in an asymmetrical yellow bikini next to her adorable dog, Noon, poses candidly with her toes dipped in the shallow end of a pool. Though it is clear that her feet have been warped by the water in the picture, haters couldn’t help but highlight their silhouette and compare them to some pretty hilarious memes.
Foot-shamers, ignoring Coleman’s caption about her pup’s successful and first fearless swim, went right down to business. Her mentions flooded with reactions and ridicule. Many fans zoomed into her toes and replied to her Tweets, loling at how deformed they were. She decided to respond to her critics by Tweeting “Y’all ain’t bout to do my feet with the water warping,” and even deleted and reposted the same photos and caption. She also answered a couple of them, laughing back, proving she’s still a game player.
As a young woman in the spotlight, it can sometimes be difficult to ensure you are spreading the right message. After a few laughs, she decides to type out: “Twitter stop making me a moment for no important reason challenge,” in reference to recent world issues. “She is showing young women how to speak our minds, stand up for our peers, and give love to the global community of women. Because, at the most basic level, we need to see a variety of characters whose likenesses reflect the society we live in. But we also need diversity in representation, roles that show the true range of our experiences as women,” her friend Yara Shahidi recounts in an interview with Glamour.
Her world-changing spirit has brightened many young people’s lives and changed their points of view. In 2015, Coleman attended the 87th Annual Academy Awards wearing a white Vivienne Westwood gown paired with pearl earrings and completed the look with long, pinned-up dreadlocks. Giuliana Rancic, a host in Joan Rivers’ Fashion Police, made a remark in regards to the look saying the star looked like she would smell of “patchouli” or “weed”. The offensive comment was later retracted by Rancic, who said it was pre-approved and part of the script and that she did not mean to spread any hate. “I just want everyone to know I didn’t intend to hurt anybody. But I have learned it is not my intent that matters, it’s the result. And the result is that people are offended, including Zendaya and that is not OK,” she voiced.
Coleman is used to criticism and body-shaming and greeted it with grace by accepting her apology and adding a few enlightening comments. “Studies have shown that even though we try to act without prejudice, sometimes it’s just hidden inside us due to our past or surroundings. That hidden prejudice is often influential in our actions. It’s our job to spot these issues within others and ourselves and destroy them before they become hurtful,” she wrote on Instagram. “Body shaming and other hurtful tactics will never get the job done. As hard as it was to stop MYSELF from being ignorant and from posting the first mean words that came to my mind because I was hurt, I had to think about the bigger picture. Instead I sat for two hours on my phone, doing my research and formulating an educated response.”
Although her successful career and advocacy are just blossoming, she and the online world will still never forget her infamously freaky feet. “The paparazzi dude at the airport asked me about my feet…yeah. Of all the [expletive] to ask, man gtfoh,” Zendaya Tweeted with a laughing emoji five days after the incident.