Former professional basketball player Dwyane Wade recently discussed his reasons for restricting comments on his daughter Zaya Wade’s Instagram page.
When a fan questioned why they weren’t allowed to comment on the 15-year-old’s social media posts, the former Miami Heat star revealed that in order to protect Zaya from hate messages, comments have been restricted. “For Zaya’s mental health and privacy we’ve decided not to allow the hate into her comments,” the father explained on Twitter. “Thank you for wanting to spread and send her love.”
Many fans were supportive of this decision, emphasizing the fact that Zaya has a great support system at home. One fan wrote, “LOVE this protection for baby girl. I hope she knows she has a whole online community of support from a lot of us on here regardless.”
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Zaya Wade initially came out as a transgender woman in 2020. Despite her parents, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, being incredibly supportive of her transition, the teenager still experienced backlash from various pockets of the internet. During a 2019 public school risk assessment, the CDC found that 43% of transgender youth have been bullied.
Zaya Wade discusses self-esteem, beauty advice, and the lessons her mother taught her.
In an interview with her mother for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, she opened up about the online scrutiny she’s dealt with. “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,” the teenager said. “That kind of advice is just trying to break you, but don’t let it.”
Within the contents of the interview, Union also weighed in on beauty standards and the harm unsolicited advice can have on a person. For Union, the most important aspect of a person is their personality. “You can be a ‘stunner’ or ‘classically beautiful person’ but if your soul is rotten, you are not very beautiful at all,” the mother shared. “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.”
This advice has also helped Zaya come a long way. When discussing a valuable lesson her mother taught her, the teenager stated, “The only thing I have to believe is what I feel and what beauty means to me. I think focusing on inner beauty is the most important.”
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