zendaya perfect face tiktok

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‘Racist’ TikTok attempts to give Zendaya ‘perfect’ features

'Perfect by WHOSE standard?'


Nahila Bonfiglio

Internet Culture

Posted on May 6, 2020

A recent TikTok has gone viral for attempting to alter a photo of Zendaya to give her “perfect facial features.”

Considering the 23-year-old actor’s already stunning beauty, people were understandably confused by this goal. After watching the video, which results in a woman who looks almost nothing like Zendaya, their confusion only mounted. Commenters online are decrying the video as racist, and questioning whose standards, exactly, the creator was trying to match.

The original video appears to have been removed from TikTok, but this is the internet, after all. Nothing is ever gone for good. Several quick-thinking users managed to snag the video before it was deleted and quickly proceeded to spread it online.

In the just over one minute video, an editing tool makes quick work of Zendaya’s features. The user behind the video, @callmeaubz, reshapes the young celeb’s lips, narrows her nose, enlargens her eyes, and even alters her eyebrows. The resulting picture looks nothing like the Spider-Man: Far From Home actress.

Commenters online were quick to make known their opinions on the video.

“I hate seeing these racist mf videos,” one user wrote. “‘Perfect’ by WHOSE standard?”

Others noted that the standard aimed for in the video has clear Eurocentric roots.

“Me sitting here watching the entire video even though I already KNOW AS A FACT Zendaya is perfect just the way she is and that this idea of ‘perfect’ is largely based off of Eurocentric features,” one user said.

Many commenters, however, pointed out that the video could be a criticism of Leonardo da Vinci’s golden ratio.

“The ‘perfect face’ videos are meant to show how dumb the golden ratio is and how people are beautiful without fitting the mold,” one commenter wrote. “I’ve seen their YouTube vids and they’re either meant to be jokes or, again, criticizing the golden ratio.”

Other users, who were more familiar with the video’s original poster, agreed. Some even went so far as to accuse the person who shared the video on Twitter of purposefully neglecting to share context.

“The person doing these was giving celebrities the ‘Golden Ratio’ to see what they would look like with ‘perfect’ faces,” one commenter wrote. “Even in the original caption they say ‘She looked better before.’ You posted this without context on purpose and that’s f*cked up.”

Commenters also noted that the original creator had dozens of other similar videos on their page, which has since been deactivated. They’ve practiced the golden ratio on a number of people, from more people of color to white people and even cartoon characters. Uploads with their TikTok handle range from Ariana Grande to Big Ed and 90 Day Fiancé.


H/T Teen Vogue

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*First Published: May 6, 2020, 8:24 am CDT