Childhood Fame: Zendaya Talks Downside Of Disney Stardom At 13, Being An "Angsty Teen" In Adulthood

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71st Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Zendaya attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Z was just 13 when she began her career on Disney's "Shake It Up."

At just 27 years old, Zendaya is already one of the most stylish women in entertainment. This is largely thanks to the work of her stylist, Law Roach, who knows exactly how to accentuate the actresses' best features. Her latest roles include the Spider-Man franchise opposite her beau, Tom Holland, as well as Dune and its sequel with Timothée Chalamet. Before all of that, Zendaya was only 13 when her career initially began on Disney Channel, which she spoke about candidly in a new British Vogue interview.

"It’s funny, because it’s something that I’m figuring out now. I don’t know how much of a choice I had. I have complicated feelings about kids and fame and being in the public eye, or being a child actor," Z shared when asked what teenage her thought about the possibility of her career not flourishing in adulthood. "We’ve seen a lot of cases of it being detrimental," she continued, seemingly referencing the likes of Amanda Bynes, Orlando Brown and countless others who got their start on Nickelodeon or Disney.

Zendaya Reflects on Her Career So Far

Zendaya went on, "I’m almost going through my angsty teenager phase now because I didn’t really have the time to do it before. I felt like I was thrust into a very adult position: I was becoming the breadwinner of my family very early, and there was a lot of role-reversal happening, and just kind of becoming grown, really."

Many of our favourite former child stars are speaking out amid the situation with Nickelodeon, leaving us to wonder who else has yet to tell their harrowing stories of abuse. Thankfully Zendaya's negative feelings mostly came from within her own family dynamic, but the same isn't true for victims like Drake Bell. Review the allegations brought forth against Dan Schneider and his colleagues at the link below, and check back later for more music/pop culture news updates.

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About The Author
Hayley Hynes is the former Weekend Managing Editor of HotNewHipHop, she stepped down after two years in 2024 to pursue other creative opportunities but remains on staff part-time to cover music, gossip, and pop culture news. Currently, she contributes similar content on Blavity and 21Ninety, as well as on her personal blog where she also offers tarot/astrology services. Hayley resides on the western side of Canada, previously spending a year in Vancouver to study Fashion Marketing at Blanche Macdonald Centre and Journalism at Mount Royal University in Calgary before that. She's passionate about helping others heal through storytelling, and shares much more about her life on Instagram @hayleyhynes.