Apart from being the girlfriend of ex-One Direction star Zayn Malik, Gigi Hadid is one of the most celebrated models in the world. In fact, 20-year-old Hadid has already been on 17 Vogue magazine covers, all unique in their own sense.
However, her latest photo shoot for the debut issue of Vogue Arabia has landed the model in a soup.
The cover of the magazine has Hadid posing with a crystal veil or a niqab covering half of her face. Now, this exotic-looking piece of clothing is worn in all forms by Arabic women, but it is, after all, patriarchy wrapped in tradition and religious norms. And we didn’t expect someone as empowered as Hadid to make a fashion statement out of it.
But, it is not just the cover that is inviting the ire of liberal-minded people. The inside layout of the magazine features the model in a pink-purple hijab and a full-sleeve ensemble–quite a paradox to her usual self.
What stands conspicuous here is that Hadid, though of half-Palestinian decent from her father’s side, is not a practicing Muslim. In fact, her mother Yolanda Hadid is of Dutch-American ancestry. Bestowed with a diverse heritage, there was absolutely no need for the model to sport the traditional headgear. A hijab or a veil, no matter what colour or embellishments it is decorated with, is not fashion. It is tradition that has been imposed on Muslim women for centuries. One that now needs to be rectified. And using a famous model like Hadid, who has quite a fan following worldwide to endorse it equates to promoting hijab culture.
Vogue Arabia, in a bid to appear glamorous and at par with its global contemporaries can very well make celebrated models pose for their covers, but burdening them with their culture is really not okay.