The star graduated high school and shut down Twitter troll – what did you do last week?
Zendaya is “about empowerment,” she tells PEOPLE. That means she’s pulling double duty these days, taking on challenges both personal and worldwide (web).
For starters, when the star called out Twitter user @Manstagram last week for his insulting Tweet about YouTube beauty blogger Shannon (a.k.a. Shaaanxo), it was all about doing the right thing: lifting people up rather than putting them down.
“When you see something happening, and you don’t think it’s fair or you don’t like it, then you say something, and that’s just the way I was raised, and that’s just the way I’ve always been taught,” she said at Sunday’s Children Mending Hearts 7th Annual Fundraiser in Malibu.
And Zendaya, 18, did so with the signature style and panache for which she is rapidly becoming known, all while knowing full well that you have to be careful when addressing an Internet bully – lest you become a troll yourself.
“I didn’t like it, so I felt a need to say something, and, at the end of the day, you do it in a way so it doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings.” she says with a smile. “It doesn’t drag anybody down. It was just kind of funny a little bit, had a little humor to it, but also I don’t think he’ll be doing that anymore.”
It was a busy week for the actress and singer, who also celebrated her high school graduation while surrounded by friends and family.
“It was awesome,” she says. “I worked really, really hard, and it was a long, long four years because I was just trying to fit scheduling and work, and it was not easy, but I definitely enjoyed myself, and, at the end of the day, it was something I really wanted to check off and finish. It was really important to me.”
For Zendaya, graduating wasn’t only a decision for herself – it was one she made for anyone that looks to her, be it friend or fan – that includes pal Taylor Swift, who Tweeted Zendaya’s graduation photo with the caption “I’m not crying, you are. #Proudofyou.”
“It was like, ‘I want the diploma. I want to walk up on the stage,’ ” she says. “I wanted people that like were my age to be like, ‘You know what? If she can do it, then heck yeah, I can finish this year.’ ”
And what did she wear under her cap and gown? Despite the years of hard work that went into the occasion, Zendaya kept it casual: “Actually, I wasn’t wearing anything that special,” she admits. I was wearing just like a two-piece pant jogger set thing. It was cool. It was chill. It was really relaxed.”
We’d say that’s relaxation very well earned.