Zaya Wade joins Dove’s #DetoxYourFeed movement
Zaya Wade came out as transgender in 2020. Despite the love and support of her father, former NBA star Dwyane Wade, and her stepmother, actress Gabrielle Union, the 14-year-old has always known the ‘adversity. Zaya recently opened up to People on the “hateful” comments she received and what inspired her to join Dove’s #DetoxYourFeed movement.
“As a trans person, once I came out there were a lot of hateful comments about how I should grow my hair long or fit into a certain version of femininity, even if it’s not true at all,” Zaya began. “That kind of advice just tries to break you, but don’t let it.” Zaya’s superstar parents encouraged her to stand up to ‘anti-darkness’ and de-center ‘Eurocentric beauty ideals’ as she charted her own journey of self-discovery and creating her own definition of femininity.
The advice of the Cheaper by the dozen star also inspired the teenager to reject outside criticism from naysayers. “I don’t have to believe everything they say. The only thing I have to believe is how I feel and what beauty means to me,” Zaya added. “I think focusing on inner beauty is most important.” Zaya and her mother-in-law have joined the Dove Self-Esteem Projectwhich provides confidence-building education to foster positive body image for 250 million young people by 2030.
More than seventeen
No stranger to social media pressure, Zaya hopes to inspire other girls and teens to join in Dove #DetoxYourFeed movement. According to the Dove Self-Esteem and Social Media Report, 1 in 2 girls say toxic beauty advice that normalizes unrealistic beauty standards on social media leads to low self-esteem. The study found that just 10 minutes of exposure to hashtags like #fitspo and #thinspo leads to lower self-confidence, self-esteem and mood among social media users. #DetoxYourFeed is a four-step process that aims to encourage new habits and spark change that will empower and uplift teens and inspire them to share with their friends and followers. Dove created a short film with mothers and daughters to highlight the impact of toxic beauty advice online.
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“We don’t need to follow anyone to make them feel unworthy or unbeautiful,” Zaya emphasized. “We have the power over our own feeds to remove content that doesn’t make us feel good and flood our feeds with the positivity we both want to see and spread to the world.”
Jasmine Washington is associate editor of Seventeen, covering beauty and pop culture. When her head isn’t buried in the latest romance release Love Belvin, she shuts down all things Beyoncé and binge “Married at First Sight.” You can find her indulging her beauty addiction at Sephora, or somewhere on the hunt for the world’s best tacos.