Michelle Obama on Thursday held a virtual meeting with the teenage daughter of Dwayne Wade, Zaya Wade.
The pair shared advice and discussed Obama’s recently released adaptation for young readers of her No. 1 best-selling memoir, “Becoming.”
Zaya, 13, identifies as transgender. She asked Obama for advice for “teens who want to be themselves and thrive.”
“I am just so proud of you, you know being just an amazing role model and embracing your truth, right?” the former first lady answered.
“It does take time to know what yourself is, for young people. So, my first piece of advice is be patient with yourself, No. 1,” Obama said. “This is the period of exploration, and sometimes we put too much pressure on teenagers to know who you’re going to be.”
She reiterated a reoccurring topic in her memoir and said, “You’re not supposed to know yet. Your job now as a teenager is not to have it all figured out but to give yourself space and time to learn and grow. So that means you want to try a lot of things on.”
Both Obama and Zaya urged young people to step out of their comfort zone.
“We all think we that we thrive with people who are just like us,” Zaya said. “Getting a different perspective from someone else who isn’t like you really helps. And that definitely helped me in becoming me and defining my truth.”
In an Instagram post, Obama said she hopes the adaptation of her book will be a conversation starter for young readers.
“Maybe it’ll open up new dialogues with your children or grandchildren,” she said.