Will we all be looking back in 20 years and see the popularity of Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik as one of the most important turning points of English-speaking Asian culture?
Gigi Hadid recently said she was an important “change” in fashion. However, this idea that she is an important change can go a lot deeper if you are — like she and her boyfriend, Zayn Malik — a person from the English-speaking, South or Southwest Asian/Muslim cultures in either the U.K. or North America.
In the opinion of this author, racism towards Asian/Muslim culture in the English-speaking world has created a lot of problems over the years, and one of them is an attempt to “paint all Muslims with the same brush.”
Representing other areas of the Muslim/Asian cultural spectrum, Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik are completely candid, and while they do not want to be seen as whitewashing their Muslim heritage, they also do not proclaim to be Muslim role models.
Instead, Gigi Hadid placed an emphasis on the individual and authenticity recently when she stated that she felt supermodels needed to do what she did: rise to fame fully naked in the view of the public to show not only physical beauty, but true inner genuineness.
Us Weekly Magazine quoted Gigi Hadid talking about how her approach to becoming a supermodel via Instagram was the truest path and stated the following.
“We are given the opportunity to spread our wings in so many different industries because people get to know us; they start to understand different levels of our personalities and our talents.”
Talent is ultimately why Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid have become famous, and around the end of July, Zayn was nominated for “best visual effects” in a video for the MTV VMAs for work that included his girlfriend, Gigi Hadid.
In the end, Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid will likely continue to be a favorite of even the harshest of critics due to their innate passion to be authentic.
In fact, Gigi Hadid might be so authentic that she may not even realize when she is being genuine. For example, about working with Zayn Malik, Gigi Hadid was quoted by Elite Daily stating the following.
“When you put people with their friends, and when you put people with their boyfriend — when you put them in environments that they come alive in, that really shows in the photographs.”
While Gigi Hadid’s career is fairly new, it has already been predicted that Zayn Malik’s Muslim celebrity status will only grow as time goes on. Noisey wrote an opinion piece in August of 2015 that stated “the possibilities as to how Zayn will further influence both his community and the art world are endless.”
Alternatively, Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid might have a few issues in the future as far as being of Muslim heritage in the English-speaking world, but an opinion piece from April of 2015, via Guardian, states Zayn’s fans will always understand that, ultimately, “there is no dichotomy between being a pop superstar and identifying as a Muslim.”
In the long run, Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik represent a much needed change that is coming to the English-speaking world where people of Muslim or Asian heritage are no longer seen as “the enemy” and instead are viewed as the individuals they truly are.
[Picture by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]