By Joelle Ngo
It's been several days since Gigi Hadid was revealed as the first cover girl of the newly launched Vogue Arabia. While it's exciting news for the model, many weren't excited for her or the magazine.
Gigi proudly shared the photo on her Instagram in the hopes of acknowledging the fashion industry’s desire to accept and celebrate all people and customs, but it resulted in a much-talked about fiasco when people took their criticisms to social media and blamed Gigi for cultural appropriation.
As we all know, many celebrities and personalities have been constantly called out for cultural appropriation or "the use of one culture's elements by a group or individual who does not belong to that culture." Most Muslims didn’t like the idea that an American woman who’s only half-Palestinian landed the cover of Vogue Arabia’s first ever issue, because they think that Gigi only acknowledges her Palestinian roots "when it’s convenient and advantageous for her."
However, as Gigi’s bashers rise in numbers, there are still some people who came to defend her and the magazine, reminding them of her Palestinian roots and discarding the truth that she refuses to stand politically as a Muslim by recalling that time when Gigi joined the protest against Trump's Muslim ban.
Meanwhile, Teen Vogue’s Muslim writer Eman Bare also shared the importance of an American model like Gigi being on the cover of a Muslim magazine during Trump's reign. “Vogue Arabia could have used the face of anyone, but the fact that they chose an American who is also Palestinian, whose father is Muslim, is a powerful reminder,” she says.
Neither Gigi nor Vogue Arabia has responded to the criticisms, but it undeniably sparks a question whether or not being half-Palestinian gives Gigi the right to immerse herself in the Arab culture.
What about you? Do you think Gigi and the magazine are guilty of cultural appropriation or the incident is simply blown out of proportion? Sound off in the comments below!
ALSO READ: Chalk Talk: Stop, Look, And Listen To Cailee Rae