Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Zaya Wade Shares Advice From Stepmother Gabrielle Union

Transgender teen Zaya Wade shares the advice they received from stepmom Gabrielle Union about beauty standards...

In a joint interview with stepmother Gabrielle Union for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, the 14-year-old teen — who came out in 2020 — opens up about how she has been impacted by detrimental beauty advice online.
"As a trans person, once I came out, there was a lot of hateful comments about how I should grow my hair out long or fit into a certain version of femininity, even though that's not true at all," she explains. "That kind of advice is just trying to break you, but don't let it."
For Union, it's important that she and her husband, Dwyane Wade, "try to stress" the value of "internal beauty" to Zaya.
"You can be a 'stunner' or 'classically beautiful person' but if your soul is rotten, you are not very beautiful at all," Union, 49, says. "We try to stress character, compassion, love, acceptance and joy. That hopefully radiates from the inside out. When it comes to how she moves through the world, we try to stress there is no one way to be a woman or to be feminine."
"There are a billion ways to exist because there are billions of people and each person has the ability to decide for themselves how they want to exist in the world and how they want to move through the world," the actress adds. "We talk to her about resisting anti-Blackness and not centering Eurocentric beauty ideals."
As for the most important lesson, Zaya says: "Her telling me that not everyone in the world and in the media is going to be truthful about what you look like."
"I don't have to believe everything they say. The only thing I have to believe is what I feel and what beauty means to me," she continues. "I think focusing on inner beauty is the most important."