It’s not the first time Gigi Hadid has been accused of cultural insensitivity, but it’s the latest — and this time, she’s being accused of outright racism. The model appeared in a video posted to sister Bella’s Twitter account on Monday … and quickly deleted after public outcry, according to the Daily Mail.
In the video, which appears to be a birthday celebration for a friend, Hadid is seen holding up a tiny statue of Buddha, the spiritual teacher and founder of the Buddhist religion. Hadid is holding it up to her face and squinting her eyes in a move that social media users interpreted as an insensitive mimicking of Asian eyes.
Though the video is no longer available on Bella Hadid’s account, it’s made the rounds, and the Internet doesn’t forget. The Internet is also not quick to forgive.
— z (@zainzayns) February 5, 2017
One Twitter user wrote, “Gigi mocking Asians is offensive af. I’ve been laughed at for having small eyes when I was a kid just like she mocked the Asian features.”
Gigi mocking Asians is offensive af. I've been laughed at for having small eyes when I was a kid just like she mocked the Asian features
— lisa (@frmtion) February 5, 2017
Another pointed out, “Gigi mocking Asians is offensive af. I’ve been laughed at for having small eyes when I was a kid just like she mocked the Asian features,” with another joking, “Who is gonna tell Gigi she is dating an Asian?”
Gigi is a hypocrite for making fun of Asian people yet her bf Zayn is part Asian so in a way she's mocking him too
— LARRYISREALBITCH (@BridgetHoran41) February 5, 2017
Who is gonna tell Gigi she is dating an Asian
— katia (@harIeysjerome) February 5, 2017
Many Twitter users took the slight personally, with one writing, “‘ppl are so blind to anti asian racism as someone thats had to deal w ppl making fun of my eyes for 16 yrs i hope gigi hadid falls in a hole.”
And another wrote, “Why am i not shocked about gigi hadid being racist again.” This user is referring to the many times Hadid has come under fire for racial insensitivity. One such time was in November 2015, when the model did a photo shoot for Vogue in which she donned a series of Afro wigs. As one tweeter wrote, “re are so many WONDERFUL black women and they choose Gigi Hadid for this shoot… wtf.”
There are so many WONDERFUL black women and they choose Gigi Hadid for this shoot… wtf pic.twitter.com/bB0zmxRhg4
— chiraz (@deIicioushay) February 6, 2017
During the Marc Jacobs spring runway show at New York Fashion Week in September, Hadid and many other models received criticism for appropriating African-American culture yet again by wearing their hair in multicolored dreadlocks. Jacobs felt the backlash as well — and it apparently wasn’t the first time.
One tweeter wrote, “Oh yeah. I just realized its
#MarcJacobs appropriating black culture with white models. Again.” Another tweeted, “really don’t understand like why?Why do this when you can get beautiful black women who can model better than them,” at the time.
I really don't understand like why?Why do this when you can get beautiful black women who can model better than them pic.twitter.com/wAwDBzvKIu
— Lizeth???? (@radical_lizeth) September 16, 2016
— oregon_girl (@oregon_girl3) September 16, 2016
Jacobs jumped to defend his decision to let the girls walk down the runway in dreadlocks. He wrote on his Instagram, “All who cry “cultural appropriation” or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner — funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair,” according to the Mirror.
But it doesn’t end there. Hadid caused another Internet firestorm in 2015 when she showed off her henna “tattoos,” which are a custom in India, Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East. This time, though, Hadid was quick to point out that her father, real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid, is Palestinian-American — which makes her part Middle Eastern.
She wrote alongside the post, “Before you go all “cultural appropriation” in my comments, check out the last name. Hadid. Half Palestinian & proud of it.”