Recently, word has been going around about Vogue’s most recent cover issue which features Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid. In the article, titled “Gigi Hadid & Zayn Malik Are Part of a New Generation Embracing Gender Fluidity”, the writer brings up the topic of gender within fashion and how it is becoming less and less important; everyone is less worried about gender roles in today’s world. While this is true and a very good point to make, the fact that Vogue used Zayn and Gigi as spokespeople for gender fluidity is messy in so many ways.
Gender fluidity is typically described as a wide range of gender expression, including behaviors and interests. Gigi and Zayn, however, seem to interpret gender fluidity as “shopping” in each other’s closets and parading around in matching tuxedos.
What the two of them fail to realize is that what they are doing is nothing more than borrowing each other’s clothes and playing dress up. In no way, shape or form are they the “heroes” that the community of gender fluid people have been waiting for. Just because Zayn likes to wear one of his girlfriend’s tight fitting shirts, he is not going to be considered a “more feminine” man. Just because Gigi picks articles of clothing out of her boyfriend’s closet, does not make her the queen of breaking gender roles. In fact, after reading what she said in the Vogue interview, I doubt she has ever attempted to look into the lives of people who do more than wear a men’s t-shirt.
Her exact words were, and I quote, “It’s not about gender. It’s about, like, shapes. And what feels good on you that day. And anyway, it’s fun to experiment. . . .” Yeah, that’s right. Gigi Hadid seems to think that the best word she could have chosen was experiment. She also believes that it’s all about “like, shapes” which makes absolutely no sense to me.
It is clear that neither Gigi and Zayn nor Vogue did their research, especially since Vogue just today released a statement in which they apologized for their mistake. The apology said, “The story was intended to highlight the impact the gender-fluid, non-binary communities have had on fashion and culture. We are very sorry the story did not correctly reflect that spirit – we missed the mark. We do look forward to continuing the conversation with greater sensitivity.” The missed the mark, alright. Thinking that this article was going to be the one intended to highlight those communities of people is either highly unintelligent or just plain offensive. Maybe they should try reviewing their materials next time. Or, if they plan on doing a piece on gender fluidity and non-binary people, maybe they should talk to actual people who identify with those terms.
Celebrities don’t have to be the only human beings to speak up on important issues and topics.