Gigi Hadid says that she’s often felt too white to stand up to her Arab heritage but now that she’s a mother, she wants to change that. The model recently got candid about her background and how she wants to raise her daughter Khai to “be a bridge for her different ethnicities.” Here’s what she has to say.
In a new interview with i-D magazine, the super model says that she wants her daughter Khai to be proud of her roots. Gigi is Dutch and Palestinian while her partner Zayn is British Pakistani.
Gigi Hadid Says She Feels Too White To Stand Up To Her Arab Heritage
“We think about it and talk about it a lot as partners and it’s something that’s really important to us, but it’s also something that we first experienced ourselves, because both of our parents are their own heritage,” Gigi explains.
“We are that first generation of those mixed races, and then that comes with that first generational experience of being like, ‘Oh damn, I’m the bridge!’ That’s not something that my parents experienced or that they can really help me through. It’s something I’ve always thought about my whole life.”
“In certain situations, I feel — or I’m made to feel — that I’m too white to stand up for part of my Arab heritage,” she continues.
“You go through life trying to figure out where you fit in racially. Is what I am, or what I have, enough to do what I feel is right? But then, also, is that taking advantage of the privilege of having the whiteness within me, right? Am I allowed to speak for this side of me, or is that speaking on something that I don’t experience enough to know?”
Gigi also opened up about how it felt like to be pregnant during the Covid-19 pandemic. She gave birth to her daughter last fall.
“[It was] super strange. It obviously felt weird during fashion month when I secretly felt so sick at work but you can’t take a sick day during fashion week!” she admits. “I just had to pretend it wasn’t happening. Or, you know, we had a birthday party and someone would offer me a drink, and I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m not drinking this month’ or whatever. And as everyone started to get tipsy, I would sneak out.”
“There’s a bittersweetness because I know that obviously COVID-19 has been such a tragedy for so many people and families, and lives, and jobs,” she continues.
“But there was a silver lining in the timing, in that I got to experience pregnancy and giving birth and being with my baby, and it was a reset that I would have had to make for myself, regardless. It really gave me time to experience motherhood the way I wanted to, which was without a baby nurse and without a nanny for as long as I could before I went back to work.”
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