Zendaya by Issac West in Paper Magazine Spring/Summer 2019

Raw instincts are compellingly captured and artfully portrayed, in the rapturous turnings of truth conveyed. Zendaya leaves the good girl behind her in ‘Extreme‘ by Issac West for Paper Magazine, SS 2019. Staring in the new HBO drama, Euphoria. She takes on a true challenge, playing the part of a young woman who’s strength requires true grit to take it on. This drama asks that we see this actor in a totally new way. Bravery is the only way we can describe this career choice. Now, there’s no ensuring that this risk will pay off. But, having the guts to go after her goals says something unique about this individual. I give her such credit. I honor her spirit and integrity, and the rigor it takes to confront something so big. The connection one must have to oneself in order to even ponder such a colossal project, is awe-inspiring. Her willingness to explore the unknown and then to expose it to the world. That is Bravery by any standard.

Zendaya has come into her own recently, in her portrayal of the young Rue. This is a series that depicts serious subject matter, with an intense roll that has her delving into a depth often avoided by new thespians. Upon just an overview of her character, we are introduced to a side of Zendaya we haven’t yet met. It makes me excited to imagine this young, talented woman taking such daring roles so early in her career. She could have easily chosen a different route. One of comedy, which was essentially laid before her. She is a beautiful, young lady with some serious comedic chops. This undeniable combination gives her a nice edge. However, instead of taking the easy route, she has jumped on a more serious track. A track that asks her to go way outside the norm. Exposing her in ways that could be devastating to a new performer. Yet, if they pay off… they could make her career. If she has the kind of talent that I imagine, she is taking a risk that will elevate her to extraordinary levels. We are in need of such talent. Not good or even great, this is a kind of talent that can’t be named. It lives outside the realm of the obvious… and inside the heartbeat of bravery.

Law Roach keeps things pure with a pretty palate, while passion penetrates the walls of propriety. Red revs things up with a flood of high fashion done in a tone-on-tone manner. Fabrics fuse, caressing the skin in a way that’s almost musical. A mix of carmine colored silks are so slick they seem to slip over the skin. Finding the curves of her body, then following them down as if on command. Ruffles revel in the moment as various materials begin to blend. Crimson details define each design style, allowing them to stand out in a sea of scarlet. Bold designs dance as her balletic feet find the beat.

Sheika Daley goes face first in the form of neo-natural with a cover shot bravely done with almost no makeup. The looks is phenomenal. We are transfixed by the depth of her beauty. Daley understands this, thereby allowing the most important picture to present wtih almost naked skin. This is utterly refreshing. Also, it allows the cosmetic shift to be more dramatic. Thereby, allowing us to experience it in a different way. Heavy lids and a bright, red lip provides a powerful platform, but, it’s the dynamic flash of fiery rouge that hits her cheeks high and spreads out like cheek wings. This gives the editorial the avant-garde shift it needed to take it over the top. Delicious!!!

Larry Sims has some fun with wigs, as this pictorial introduces us to a plethora of high hair. Dews redefine haute hair-looks with locks that flow down the back and curls that explode mid-length. Short styles also show up from a blunt-bowl cut to a poker-straight bob. Phenomenally precise, each coiffed piece projects a sense of symbiosis with the story. That is ART! Sims proves that changin’ things up will keep em’ fresh, as Zendaya wears these looks with serious style.

In a compelling series description one is met with some unsettling information. Not the least of which condenses this story down to the inevitable truth. That despite the thespians skill of it’s star and the prose of it’s powerful writer, one cannot escape the blunt-force trauma of the savagely, sad story-line. Resistance seems to be truly futile, as even the most well equipped to handle such heavy, topical content may be out of their league. Or, at the least, be in for a hit of sadness without any real payoff. Now, you’re not going to know if that’s true for you, without digging in and watching the series. I will say, the background provided seems to be worthy of atleast that. I offer forth my heartfelt homage, and say with sincerity ~ BRAVA! Your are a flower in bloom. Continue to grow with the kind of raw defiance that has come to define you. Don’t be distracted. I wish you strength and the space for your Talent to Grow.