Cultural embrace or appropriation: Hadid models hijab in Vogue Arabia

By Coraline Pettine
February 22, 2018


Gigi Hadid‘s cover shoot for the first print edition of Vogue Arabia has sparked controversy among fashion fans who consider the images disrespectful cultural appropriation.

Gigi Hadid wears a hijab in the March edition of Vogue Arabia. Photo by Vogue and Inez and Vinoodh.

On March 1, the 22nd issue and the first print edition of Vogue Arabia featured a spread of model Gigi Hadid wearing traditional Muslim attire.

With her official Instagram account, Hadid defended her decision to model the hijab in Vogue Arabia and emphasized how honored she was, pointing out her ethnic roots.

Being half-Palestinian, it means the world to me to be on the first-ever cover(s) of @voguearabia,” Hadid wrote.

While Hadid is part Palestinian, she has never explicitly stated her religious affiliation. Those who practice the religion of Islam have found offense in using Hadid’s Palestinian roots to justify wearing a hijab.

Graduate communication major Jatara Allen has been a practicing Muslim for many years. Allen said that one family member being Muslim does not necessarily mean everyone in the family is, adding that using that relationship to justify wearing religious attire is borderline offensive ignorance.

“Just because her father is Muslim does not allow her to wear hijab,” Allen said. “It can even be looked at as mockery of the religion.”

The Muslim community appreciates recent attempts to include culturally diverse and inclusive attire in more clothing lines but acknowledges companies struggle to go about this the right way.

Nike unveiled a hijab designed for female athletes, making it the first United States-based large sportswear brand to manufacture a performance hijab.

The Pro Hijab is a progressive step towards companies not only accepting Muslim culture and fashion but also embracing it; however, the Nike Pro Hijab is unrealistic.

Allen said, of athletic hijab, “Nike has come up with an idea to have the hijab as part of their collection so that Muslim women athletes could feel comfortable. In reality, this is not the way of the Muslim women in Islam. We are to be fully covered showing the bare minimum of skin so that we can be modest. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea, but it is just the wrong attention for us.”

Coraline Pettine

Writing Managing Editor for Loquitur Media.

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