‘I’m half Palestinian’: Gigi Hadid hits back at critics who slammed her Vogue Arabia cover for 'cultural appropriation'
The supermodel, who is half-Palestinian and has a Muslim father, received backlash on social media and even had some accusing her of reducing the hijab to a 'fashion statement'
Gigi Hadid has responded to all the people who accused her of 'cultural appropriation' for sporting a veil on the cover of Vogue Arabia in March. The supermodel, who is half-Palestinian and has a Muslim father, sparked immense backlash on social media and even had some accusing her of reducing the hijab to a "fashion statement".
On Friday, while speaking at the Reebok x Gigi Be More Human event in Sydney, the 23-year-old defended herself from all the critics, insisting that she is proud of her Arabic roots.
"When I shot the cover of Vogue Arabia, [critics claimed] I wasn't Arab enough to be representing those girls. I'm half Palestinian. I am as much Palestinian as I am Dutch," she said. "Just because I have blonde hair… I still carry the value of my ancestors," the blonde bombshell said.
At the same time, Hadid also revealed that how she feels empowered by defying stereotypes, adding that she definitely has some harsh words for people criticizing her choices. "I'm not Palestinian enough to be on the cover of Vogue Arabia… F-you if you think that," she said to the gathered crowd.
Further into the event, the model revealed that she finds solace in her boyfriend Zayn Malik during such times since he too comes from a mixed cultural background. "I was talking about this to my boyfriend too. He is half Pakistani and half English. And there's always this thing where you're mixed race or you come from two different worlds," she said.
"You see how both sides treat each other. And you become a bridge between both sides," she concluded. Hadid's clap back comes only days after her boyfriend gave an interview with British Vogue, where he said that he does not identify himself as a Muslim anymore.
During his interview, the musician reportedly told the publication, "I'm not professed to be a Muslim", and when asked if he would consider himself to be Muslim, he responded: "No, I wouldn't." The 'Pillowtalk' singer further clarified that although he still has a 'spiritual belief' in a god, he doesn't endorse Islam religious practices such as daily prayer and eating halal meat.
He said, "I don’t believe you need to eat a certain meat that’s been prayed over a certain way, I don’t believe you need to read a prayer in a certain language five times a day." The singer then added, "I don’t believe any of it. I just believe if you’re a good person everything is going to go right for you."