TikTok user under fire for ‘racist’ video of Zendaya: ’They just made her more white’

Morgan Greenwald
In The Know

On TikTok, people love to mess around with celebrities’ features. And while for the most part it’s all fun and games, one recent video is under fire for what social media users are calling a “racist” reimagination of Zendaya’s face.

The video in question, created by TikTok user callmeaubz, begins with a photo of Zendaya on the red carpet. Under the photo, callmeaubz notes that the video is part of her “giving celebrities perfect facial features” series.

Throughout the video, callmeaubz uses editing tools to completely transform Zendaya’s face. Her lips are smoothed out, her nose is slimmed down, her eyes are widened and her eyebrows are reshaped entirely. By the end of the video, Zendaya, whose father is Black, is unrecognizable.


Naturally, fans are unhappy with these so-called “perfect facial features.”

“I hate seeing these racist mf videos,” a tweet about the problematic video, which has already received more than 70,000 likes, reads. “‘Perfect’ by WHOSE standard?”

“They erased her Black features for the sake of ‘perfect’ ones,” the original poster continued. “Idgaf about the method or the golden ratio, it’s still racism. I do NOT allow gaslighting over here.”

Many Twitter users were similarly outraged.

“THEY JUST MADE HER MORE WHITE TF,” one person said.

“[They] literally just made her look more white. Stop it,” another user commented.

Other people, however, defended the TikTok, claiming that it was simply meant to show what celebrities would look like with “Golden Ratio” features.

“The person doing these was giving celebrities the ‘Golden Ratio’ to see what they would look like with ‘perfect’ faces,” one person wrote in defense on the video. “Even in the original caption they say, ‘She looked better before.'”

Even they admitted, though, that the ‘Golden Ratio’ standard is inherently racist. (As the Daily Mail points out, the Golden Ratio was originally used by European artists like Leonardo Da Vinci and eventually became a measurement for ‘perfect’ facial features.)

“The golden ratio is a very old European standard, so of course it models European features,” they added. “Everyone knows Zendaya and her Black features are beautiful.”

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