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Zendaya Responds to Comedian Who Criticized Her Appearance at Kids' Choice Awards

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Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Zendaya attends Nickelodeon's 2016 Kids' Choice Awards at The Forum on March 12, 2016 in Inglewood, Calif.

The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards typically aren't a hotbed of controversy -- especially when it comes to debating the representation of female bodies in the media -- but Zendaya's win on Saturday (March 12) night sparked a heated Twitter exchange between the singer-actress and comedian Julie Klausner.

After winning favorite female TV star -- kids show at the 2016 Kids' Choice Awards, Zendaya ended her acceptance speech with, "To all the parents out there, thank you for allowing me to be a role model for your children. I really, really do not take that for granted."

Klausner, creator and star of the TV show Difficult People and author of I Don't Care About Your Band, added an addendum to Zendaya's speech on Twitter: "And thinspo model for your impressionable tweens."

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She continued to criticize Zendaya's appearance on Twitter, implying the singer-actress had an "eating disorder" and referencing Zendaya's 2015 feud with Giuliana Rancic over the former's Oscars appearance.

Zendaya wasted no time defending herself, criticizing Klausner for body shaming and asking if she wants to "be next," presumably in reference to Rancic (it's widely acknowledged that Rancic's public image, not to mention E!'s Fashion Police, suffered in the wake of her joke at Zendaya's expense). 

Following the retort, Klausner didn't quite apologize -- she promised to "never stop criticizing celebs who perpetuate dangerous beauty standards" and help the "generation of girls who aspire to look like Zendaya" -- but she did offer an olive branch of sorts to the onslaught of Zendaya fans attacking her on Twitter.

Billboard reached out to reps for Zendaya and Klausner for further comment. 


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