Gigi Hadid Confuses Fans with Mysterious Absence from VS’s Shanghai Show
On Nov. 16, just a few days before the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, model Gigi Hadid announced on Twitter that she was no longer going to walk the runway with her sister Bella Hadid. “I’m so bummed I won’t be able to make it to China this year. Love my VS family, and will be with all my girls in spirit!! Can't wait to tune in with everyone to see the beautiful show I know it will be, and already can't wait for next year! :) x,” Hadid posted.
Since her ambiguous tweet, there has been a lot of conversation around Hadid’s absence at the Shanghai show. Many have speculated that China had refused to let Hadid in after her sister posted a racist video of her mocking Asian features. Last February, Hadid was recorded at a birthday party, while holding up a Buddha cookie next to her face and squinting, presumably imitating Asian facial features as well. After the video received backlash from fans, it was deleted and Hadid came forward to address her actions.
“I have the utmost respect and love for the people of China and cherish the incredible memories I have made while visiting in the past. I have learned to be very careful of how my actions can come off or be portrayed and I’m hopeful you’ll accept my apology,” Hadid wrote on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.
Even though Hadid apologized, many fans are still criticizing her and her boyfriend, Zayn Malik, on social media. In response to tweets questioning how he is okay with Hadid’s racist actions, Malik, who is half Asian, posted “trust me.. she likes Asians,” including a winking face and thumbs up emoji.
While many believe her absence is due to her racist actions, others are proposing that she was denied a visa for other reasons. According to Fashionista.com, VS models Julia Belyakova, Kate Grigorieva, Irina Sharipova and Dasha Khlystun were all reportedly denied Chinese visas. The models haven’t addressed why they were denied access into the country. Many believe that Hadid had faced similar issues from a legal standpoint, which did not encompass her racist actions.
In addition, others propose that VS banned her from the show due to the predicted backlash of her presence in China by Chinese fans. In contrast, others speculate that her absence was a personal choice of hers to appease her Chinese fans. Regardless of all these theories, Hadid has not revealed the real reason as to why she unexpectedly dropped out of the fashion show.
Hadid’s problematic actions bring attention to the effects that one’s social media presence can have and the importance of considering how one’s actions can be portrayed to others.