Gigi Hadid opens up about feeling 'too white' to embrace Arab heritage

·2 min read

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Gigi Hadid is opening up about raising her daughter to embrace her mixed-race heritage (Image via Getty Images)
Gigi Hadid is opening up about raising her daughter to embrace her mixed-race heritage (Image via Getty Images)

Gigi Hadid is getting real about the complexities of being mixed race — and how it will impact her parenting.

In a recent interview with i-D, the 26-year-old admitted there are a times when she has felt like she is "too white" to represent her Arab roots. Hadid said she hopes to eventually influence her 9-month-old daughter, Khai, to change that narrative.

According to Hadid, she and her partner, Zayn Malik, have put a lot of thought into how they plan on raising a mixed-race child.

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"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," Hadid said. "Because both of our parents are their own heritage. 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!’"

Hadid added that it's especially important because it's not something that her parents addressed when she was growing up. The supermodel's mother, Yolanda Hadid, is Dutch, while her father, Mohamed Hadid is Palestinian; Malik's mother is English and Irish and his father is British Pakistani.

"That’s not something that my parents experienced or that they can really help me through," she recalled. "It’s something I’ve always thought about my whole life."

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Hadid revealed that she has struggled with her own identity due to not looking a certain way and said trying to figure out where she "fits in" hasn't been an easy task.

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"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 admitted. Hadid later added, "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?"

Hadid doesn't foresee her daughter inheriting the same struggles growing up as a mixed-race person and hopes her daughter will be a "bridge for her different ethnicities."

"But I think that it will be nice to be able to have those conversations, and see where she comes from [with] it, without us putting that onto her," she concluded. "What comes from her is what I’m most excited about, and being able to add to that or answer her questions."

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