Her tenure as the First Lady may have come to an end, but Michelle Obama remains an inspiration to many. She’s shared her story with the world in the form of a candid memoir, Becoming, and she recently caught up with Dwyane Wade’s daughter and Gabrielle Union’s stepdaughter, Zaya, for a virtual interview. Zaya has made headlines after coming out as transgender at 12-years-old and the Wades have endured backlash from the public. They’ve remained a steadfast unit against the naysayers and Zaya has been thriving over the past year as she grows more comfortable with sharing her journey.
Zaya asked the former First Lady if she had any advice for “teens who want to be themselves and thrive like you have and currently are.” Michelle flipped the script on the 13-year-old and said, “And like you have and currently are.” Obama added, “You know, I am just so proud of you for being just an amazing role model and embracing your truth, right? You’re already doing this, so maybe this is for some other young people that are listening.”
“It does take time to know what ‘yourself’ is for young people,” said Michelle. “So, my first piece of advice is: be patient with yourself, number one. At your age, or in the teenage years and probably through your 20s, you’re gonna be experimenting with so many versions of yourself. All young people are trying on different versions, different voices, they’re learning more about their intellect, they’re learning about what they love, what they’re good at, what they like—this is the period of exploration.”
She added that often, adults put teens under too much pressure to know who they want to be in life, too soon. Michelle said a question she “hated” was, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” She said, “How am I supposed to—I’m thirteen! I’m twelve! You’re not supposed to know yet.” Michelle advised young people “to give yourself space and time to learn and grow.” A good little bit of advice for any age. Check out the clip below.
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