Gigi Hadid opens up about the struggles of raising a mixed-race child

Updated 17 Jun, 2021 05:41pm

Images Staff

"In certain situations, I feel — or I’m made to feel — that I’m too white to stand up for part of my Arab heritage," she admitted.

Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik are raising their daughter Khai, but being mixed-race children themselves, the couple realise that it's going to be tough.

Speaking about identity, belonging and the struggles of raising a child that is of mixed race, the supermodel revealed her approach to parenthood in a conversation with i-D Magazine. While much of it is instinctive, Hadid mentioned how in her situation, she and her partner have to actively think about how to address it.

"We think about it and talk about it a lot as partners and it’s something that’s really important to us, but it’s also something that we first experienced ourselves. Because both of our parents are their own heritage," she said. Hadid was born to a Dutch mother and Palestinian father while Malik's mother is English and Irish and his father a British Pakistani.

"We are that first generation of those mixed races and that comes with that first generational experience of being like, ‘Oh damn, I’m the bridge!’ That’s not something that my parents experienced or that they can really help me through. It’s something I’ve always thought about my whole life," she said, admitting that it's certainly been a challenge.

She revealed that she has struggled with her own identity due to not looking a certain way, adding that trying to figure out where she "fits in" hasn't been an easy task.

"In certain situations, I feel — or I’m made to feel — that I’m too white to stand up for part of my Arab heritage. You go through life trying to figure out where you fit in racially. Is what I am, or what I have, enough to do what I feel is right? But then, also, is that taking advantage of the privilege of having the whiteness within me, right? Am I allowed to speak for this side of me, or is that speaking on something that I don’t experience enough to know?"

She believes "Khai will grow up feeling out the way that she can or wants to be a bridge for her different ethnicities". Hadid thinks it will be nice to be able to have these conversations with her when she grows up and be able to add to that or answer her questions.

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