Gigi Hadid is speaking out after receiving backlash online for having visibly darker skin on the latest cover of Vogue Italia. Many people accused her of wearing blackface, while others called out the magazine for photoshopping Hadid so much that she was barely recognizable.
One user commented on the cover writing, “Her nose, jaw, facial structure are so edited I couldn’t even tell this was Gigi. Don’t book a model just to completely change the way they look. Disgusting.”
Another wrote, ““that doesn’t even look like her,” and called the image “appalling and simply disgusting.”
But others did not understand why people were so offended and shocked, commenting: “People need to chill out. My god can we stop complaining about everything,” and “How is she trying to be black? Do you even know what blackface is?”
Hadid attempted to explain the situation with an Instagram post:
“This is a photo of me returning home from shooting my Italian Vogue cover on April 3rd … you can see the level I had been bronzed to on set that day. Please understand that my control of a shoot 1. is non existent in terms of creative direction 2. ends completely when I leave set, and anything done to a photo in post is out of my control fully. The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S.Klein has done for many years and I believe was what was expected from the shoot (to show me in a different way creatively), BUT, although I understand what Vogue Italia’s intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid. I want to address this for those who were offended by the editing/retouching/coloring of the cover. Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different. Regardless, I want to apologize because my intention is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else, and I hope this can be an example to other magazines and teams in the future. There are real issues regarding representation in fashion — it’s our responsibility to acknowledge those issues and communicate them to work towards a more diverse industry.”
In the past, Hadid also received criticism in 2015 for her Vogue Italia cover when the magazine featured her with darker skin and different colored afros. She was called out for cultural appropriation for posing on the cover of Vogue Arabia even though she is part Palestinian.
– Blair Halliday