Gigi Hadid can’t seem to catch a break. Just days after a video of her seemingly mocking Asian features surfaced online, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed model was quoted calling herself “pretty exotic” in the latest issue of Vogue.
Gracing the cover with Kendall Jenner, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, Liu Wen, Vittoria Ceretti and Imaan Hammam of the publication’s Great Beauty Shakeup issue, which focuses on diversity and inclusivity in the fashion world, Hadid insisted she’s not as “all-American” as people think.
“It’s funny to me when people say that I’m this ‘girl next door’ because although I know I can come off that way, from another angle, I’m pretty exotic,” she said. “I mean, as different as Imaan and I look, we probably share DNA. If I’m ‘all-American,’ what does that even mean?”
“But then again, my parents came to this country as poor immigrants,” Hadid, whose parents came from the Netherlands and Palestine, continued. “So… Maybe I’m pretty damn all-American after all. Not because of how I look but because I truly believe everyone should be equal and free.”
In the same article, Hadid’s BFF stressed the importance of embracing different ethnic backgrounds, saying, “With all that’s going on in the world, this cover makes such an important statement. It’s like, hey, we’ve got our differences, but those differences are beautiful. Everyone is beautiful.”
Hadid’s cover came after her boyfriend, Zayn Malik, defended her from racial accusations. When Hadid was seen allegedly squinting her eyes to mimic the face of a Buddha, many fans accused her of being a racist. Malik, who is of Asian descent, quickly chimed in to the conversation, saying:
@KristopherRod trust me.. she likes asians 😉 👍🏽
— zayn (@zaynmalik) February 7, 2017
It was also just announced that Hadid will be getting her own Barbie doll because, apparently, she’s just so “exotic.”