When Isa, behavior editor at WHIM, asked me to do an article on a black woman who inspires me, several names came to mind. Names that were present in different and significant moments of my life. I thought a lot and remembered someone who was part of my childhood, teenager and now, youth: Zendaya.
Zendaya was one of the first black artists I met on television. I was (and still am) a regular consumer of Disney Channel programming and I remember that my life’s dream was to be part of that industry. Whether as an actress, singer and/or presenter. But, I always caught myself thinking that there would be no room for me other than as an extra and at most the “supporting actor who dies in the second act”.
That’s why having someone to look up to helps us focus on our own dreams. I feel that from then on, I put myself in the position of being able to do anything, and it is from that feeling that we can move forward. If a single person is capable of awakening the feeling of “hope” for others, imagine what the world would be like if we had these opportunities from the beginning?!
When the series “No Ritmo” premiered on Disney, among all the shows I watched and loved, I was enchanted at first sight when, for the first time, I saw a black girl starring in one of the most famous series of the channel at the time. Zendaya at the height of her 16 years, starring in a series and playing a character who had a super fun sense of humor! She wasn’t just that funny friend who served as comic relief, like many black characters in the series of the 2010s. She was the protagonist of the series as well.
Even though I didn’t go into music or theater, being a teenager who was looking to find myself in this big world, always being inspired by someone who for me was the reference of being on top of the world, helped me to never stop until I finally was where I was. always wanted.
Today I work with what I love thanks to someone who has no idea that the simple act of going after his own dream gave me the courage to go after mine too. After all, this is inspiration, isn’t it? The purest and simplest form of the term. People can inspire you just by existing and being in a place they normally wouldn’t be.and that’s where you think you can’t stop with your run either, because today you’re inspired by someone and tomorrow you can be other people’s inspiration.
This year, I met Nabiyah Be. A Brazilian woman from Bahia – practically my neighbor – who is an actress, singer, music producer and also a multitalented artist. Nabiyah plays on Broadway, participated in Black Panther (1) and is now one of the main characters in Daisy Jones and The Six.
I brought her into this article as well because, like all my inspiration from Zendaya, seeing someone even closer to my reality makes me reflect on how much we can make our dreams come true. When to I interviewed, I had the pleasure of telling her how much she inspires me, and inspires many other black girls from the Northeast who dream of one day being able to do what she does. It’s sensational, liberating to see.
And these references are often even closer than we imagine. How could I, a girl always dreaming, with my feet very far from the ground, black and from the Northeast, keep all these hopes and dreams inside one single heart if there weren’t women like them? Who exist, make their own dreams happen and pave the way so that one day we can be there too?