YOUNG LOVE

Zendaya Celebrated Tom Holland’s Birthday by Sharing a Rare Couples Photo

Zendaya holding her hand to her heart while looking at Tom Holland
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage via Getty Images

Zendaya and Tom Holland, who just made things more Instagram official than ever, have proven to be experts at maintaining their privacy as a couple. Rumors that they were romantically linked naturally started swirling when they played each other’s love interests in the first of three Spider-Man films in 2017, at which point they repeatedly described themselves as friends. Then, last summer, the paparazzi photographed them kissing. The photos quickly went viral—an experience that Zendaya later described as “quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive” in a profile of Holland by GQ. He seemed to agree, adding, “one of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world.”

Now, on the occasion of Holland turning 26, Zendaya has willingly shared one of those moments with the entire world. “Happiest of birthdays to the one who makes me the happiest <3,” she captioned an Instagram on Wednesday, prompting Holland to reply with three heart emojis. Before the post, the most they had acknowledged their relationship on the app was calling each other “my Spider-Man” and “my MJ.”

For Spider-Man fans, the post has been a long time coming. Zendaya and Holland have spent the past few years piling praise on each other (and completing each other’s sentences) in seemingly every interview, to the point that Holland was practically fawning over his costar. “You can’t really find anything against Zendaya, she’s kind of like the perfect person,” he said in February of 2021. “Having her as a friend has been so valuable to the success and happiness of my career and life.” When they proved to be more than just friends, they retreated from the public eye for a time before being photographed holding hands on a spree of dates in New York City earlier this year. Don’t be surprised if they’re spotted doing so again when out for Holland’s birthday festivities.