Zayn May Be Okay with Gigi Hadid’s Ignorant Video, But This Asian Star Isn’t
Sorry (not sorry), Gigi Hadid — there’s no getting away with this one. For the past few days, the 21-year-old supermodel has been subjected to scrutiny by the public for more than a couple of reasons: Recently, her sister, 20-year-old fellow model Bella Hadid, posted an Instagram video of the blonde impersonating Buddha. Soon after, people questioned whether G, who’s part Palestinian, is racist against Asians or, at the very least, ignorant.
Her boyfriend, Zayn Malik, came to her defense, saying, “trust me… she likes asians,” with a wink face and thumbs-up emoji. NOTE: Just because she clearly is attracted to Zayn, who’s South Asian, doesn’t mean she likes all Asians. Nice try, though.
THEN, Gigi was on the receiving end of major backlash because, in a new interview with Vogue, she referred to herself as “pretty exotic” and is convinced she “probably share[s] DNA” with model Imaan Hammam, who’s Dutch, Egyptian and Moroccan… What? Why would she even say that?
Aaannnyyyway, there were some fans who tried to say that Gigi’s actions and remarks weren’t offensive ’cause they, themselves, were not offended, including some alleged Asians. But the same cannot be said for everyone — like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actress Chloe Bennet.
The 24-year-old beauty, whose real name is Chloe Wang, is of English, Scottish, Irish, Swiss-German, and German descent on her mother’s side and of Chinese descent on her father’s side. And she penned a niiice open letter for GH as a caption for this photo:
“Dear Gigi Hadid,” she started. “As a kid, (and frankly as an adult) people would make fun of me for being Chinese. For having “Asian eyes.” I would laugh it off because it was always a “joke,” and if I didn’t I was being “too sensitive.” But in reality, it made me feel horrible. Like, just BEING ME was a joke that was not meant to be taken seriously. I was embarrassed of who I was. I dyed my hair blonde to make myself look less Asian just so I could feel “worthy” of the people who made me feel less than.”
“Fortunately, now I know that none of this is true,” she continued. “That my value does not come from how I LOOK, but from my CHARACTER. From how I treat others. I know I am not alone in feeling these things. It hurts my heart to see someone like you, a beautiful young woman with so much influence, act in this inconsiderate way. This does not make you a bad person or racist, however, it does make you ignorant to the pain that your actions can cause others. No matter how unintentional those actions are. And, even if it was just “a joke.””
“So… to the young Asian men and women who are used to laughing off others ignorance, even though deep down you are hurting,” she added. “I HEAR YOU. You are badass. You are awesome. Who you are is not “funny.” YOU determine your self worth. Be proud of who you are. ???–Also, I’m also sorry for how many run on sentences there are in this letter. ? Love, Chloe”
“P.S. While I’m at it, Asian men are super sexy. So, with all due respect, f*ck you, Steve Harvey,” she concluded. (The end is in reference to a comment made by comedian/host Steve Harvey, in which he insinuated that white women don’t like Asian men.)
Gigi Hadid’s not the only celebrity to be unintentionally racist. Here are 18(!) others: