Let’s stop being outraged on other people’s behalf, Gigi Hadid didn’t culturally appropriate in her Vogue Arabia cover


babe  • 

Let’s stop being outraged on other people’s behalf, Gigi Hadid didn’t culturally appropriate in her Vogue Arabia cover

Let her live

Gigi Hadid’s cover on the first ever issue of Vogue Arabia has caused quite a stir on the internet. Some people really seem to a problem with it and have been calling her out for cultural appropriation of Islam.

Gigi Hadid, who is Palestinian and has a Muslim father, is apparently engaging in vile cultural appropriation in the shoot. According to one Twitter user, she only uses her “roots only when it benefits” her.


Another said that the hijab shouldn’t be used for “art” and that Gigi shouldn’t call herself half Palestinian when she doesn’t supposedly fight for her people.

Frankly, this is stupid and this whole “cultural appropriation” argument concerning Gigi’s Vogue Arabia cover is a mess.

Islam didn’t invent the headscarf

OK, first of all, to even suggest that the headscarf belongs to Islam is absurd. Yes, many observant Muslim women do wear the hijab whether by choice or not and the headscarf is commonly associated with Islam, but that doesn’t mean that headscarves are exclusively worn by Muslim women.

Headscarves and veils were and are widely used by some Christian women all across the world, as well as a number of other religions. Still, the headscarf isn’t exclusive to religious use. Historically, some women chose to wear headscarves to cover their hair at work and what about the Eastern European babushkas that wear headscarves? Are they culturally appropriating as well?

Technically, women aren’t even obliged to wear a headscarf in Islam

It’s a common myth but Muslim women are not required to wear a headscarf. The verses in the Quran that refer to how women should dress are somewhat vague and thus have been subject to different interpretations. Some Islamic scholars believe head covering is an obligation and some believe it is not. The majority of Muslims in the world accept the hijab as part of Islam, but also believe that the decision to wear the garment is a woman’s individual choice.

Yes, in some parts of the world women are being oppressed by being forced to wear a hijab, but that’s more to do with cultural and historical reasons rather than religious. How can Gigi be culturally appropriating from a religion that technically gives women a choice on whether they should wear the hijab or not?

Islam isn’t an exclusive religion

You may disagree with me about the requirement of the hijab, but you cannot deny that Islam is not an exclusive religion. If anyone can become a Muslim, who are we to say that she can or cannot wear a hijab? Do we know what’s going on inside her mind? Are we aware of her religious beliefs? No. It’s none of our fucking business. Islam is a religion not an ethnicity.

Of course the hijab has become a symbol of struggle for many Muslim women, especially in the Western world where there has been a creeping rise of Islamophobia. However, I struggle to understand how Gigi’s front cover of Vogue Arabia is disputing that.

She’s also half Palestinian

Then there are people that are saying: “OK she’s not appropriating from Islam, but rather Arab or Middle Eastern culture.” She is literally half Palestinian, which is in the Middle East. If she’s not allowed to wear a headscarf because it is supposedly exclusive to Arab or Middle Eastern women, I don’t know who can.

Gigi is actually being respectful

She’s not doing a Katy Perry for a music video or a Kylie Jenner on her Insta guys, she is wearing a headscarf for Vogue Arabia, mostly read by Middle Eastern women and a lot of them will be wearing the hijab – it’s called appealing to your audience. Gigi did the shoot tastefully, with respect. She was also probably assigned to outfits that she had no control over. We all know that if she didn’t wear one, people would be outraged for her not respecting her audience.

It’s times like these when it seems like people live for being offended on behalf of others and unsurprisingly most of the people tweeting about this don’t wear the hijab themselves. Let her live.