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Zaya Wade alongside her stepmother, Gabrielle Union, got candid in a People Magazine interview for the Dove Self Esteem Project. The daughter of former NBA star Dwyane Wade opened up about how negative beauty advice online has affected her journey as a trans person and what Union teaches her about beauty.

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The purpose of the Dove Self Esteem Project is “to help every young person detoxify their social media feeds,” according to the website. Its mission is to assist young girls in ridding their social media feeds of toxic beauty advice that often leads to low self-esteem; hence, the #DetoxYourFeed film and campaign. In the interview with People, Zaya talks about how she didn’t let hateful comments regarding her hair deter her from becoming who she was truly meant to be. “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.” stated Zaya.

Gabrielle and her husband, Dwyane, are advocates of internal beauty, and they continuously instill this value in 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.” said Union. Zaya has taken her stepmother’s advice to heart as she agrees that focusing on inner beauty is “the most important.”

To read more about the Dove Self Esteem project, click here. To read the rest of the interview, click here.



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Zaya Wade Credits Gabrielle Union For Helping Her Cope With Hateful Online Comments  was originally published on