Gigi Hadid wears hijab on cover of Vogue Arabia – divides social media

Photo: Vogue
Photo: Vogue

Supermodel Gigi Hadid has found herself at the center of the internet's furore once more.

Vogue Arabia just revealed the cover of its first-ever edition featuring Hadid as its cover star. Two versions were published, one in Arabic and one in English. Both feature Hadid clad in a headscarf - one sequined and the other in a hot pink.

Read: Gigi Hadid faces social media backlash over 'racist video'

The photos were shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and have been described as being styled in a “uniquely Arabian way”. But the internet was not happy with Vogue's use of a non-Arab model in hijab:

But what many do not know is that Hadid is half-Palestinian.

Her mother's a Dutch-born American, while her father is Palestinian-American and she has been vocal about the importance of her staying close to her roots. She has also recently marched against Trump's executive order banning immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.

A lot of her followers responded with an overwhelming sense of support after she posted this statement (below) on Instagram, perhaps pre-empting some sort of backlash after the issue's publication:

“I think the beautiful thing about there being international Vogue's is that, as a fashion community, we are able to celebrate, and share with the world, different cultures. Being half-Palestinian, it means the world to me to be on the first-ever cover(s) of @voguearabia, and I hope that this magazine will show another layer of the fashion industry's desire to continue to accept, celebrate, and incorporate all people & customs and make everyone feel like they have fashion images and moments they can relate to... & learn and grow in doing so. ? Thank you @deenathe1st for your vision and for having me on this cover... by the incredible @inezandvinoodh - so much love."

Has Hadid crossed the line between celebrating culture and appropriating it? Is she diminishing the significance this religious garb has for many Muslim women around the world, or is she respecting the faith by wearing the hijab and "normalising" it? 

Is this cultural appropriation or appreciation? Let us know what you think.

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