In February this year, Gigi Hadid had again arrested the attention and focus of the media but this time for all the wrong reasons, after her sister Bella posted a video capturing her candidly ‘mimicking Buddha’, at her private birthday celebrations.
The response of course was to defend herself against claims that not only, were her actions racist toward people of Asian decent but that she herself was in fact racist and while this is by no means a small accusation, as with all things media, it would seem that the controversial video lost momentum, UNTIL (that is) the announcement of GIGI’s return to the 2017 Victoria Secret Show; To be held in none other than the city of Shanghai, China, a city that is considered by many as a rising star in fashion.
In her statement on twitter Gigi was clearly on cloud 9! “Forever and ever and ever a dream come true to be asked back to the VS Show!!!..Thank you my friends @ed_razek @10magazine @johndavidpfeiffer @monica.mitro for another unforgettable opportunity; every aspect makes me feel like a dreaming kid again”.
The Victoria’s Secret Show, is one of the world’s most watched fashion shows (In 2016 attracting 1.4 billion views across more than 190 countries) and a runway coveted by models across the globe. To be asked to return, an honour, but in this case, it seems that it is the opinion of many, that for Gigi to return in 2017 is far less than honourable as the content of ‘yesterdays’ video became fiercely relevant again.
The response to Gigi’s announcement on August 29th was strong, with critics who were ‘once upon a time fans’ harshly denouncing their support of Gigi and demanding that she stay away from the show and China; the sentiment echoed by thousands in response to her post on twitter.
‘We like some people who respects us, not you. What you have done made us unhappy. And Chinese do not welcome you. So don’t come to China (sic)
‘We don’t wanna see u on Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2017 Shanghai (sic.)
“Racist don’t come to Shanghai! (sic).’
Apologies in the media are rarely considered genuine; Rather PR stunts managed by a team, but with Gigi’s Dutch / Arab-Palestinian heritage, there was the potential for her response to be palpable and to be perceived as legitimate however things just went from bad to worse for Gigi when she was once again slammed for only posting her apology on weibo.com rather than across her entire social media platform.
I think we can all agree that Gigi’s response to this situation was less than ideal and called for some higher wisdom, but to call her racist? That’s a very strong judgement to make. Perhaps it would be wise to give the girl some grace and embrace the practice and teachings of Buddha himself about forgiveness…
And IF forgiveness prevails, the next big question to be answered is whether or not we will indeed see it played out on the runway with Gigi once again spreading her wings on November 28th?
Tune in… I have a feeling we’ll see this angel fly again.