Gigi Hadid, Zayn Malik are raising baby Khai to value her multiethnic identity
Gigi Hadid posed as the cover star for i-D’s summer issue and while speaking to the magazine, the Victoria's Secret angel shared her experience of being pregnant with baby Khai during the coronavirus pandemic and how she and partner Zayn Malik are planning on raising their daughter and guiding her to navigate her multiethnic identity.
When asked how she was approaching parenthood given that so much of it is instinctive, but the interviewer addressed that since Khai will be a mixed race child with her Arab-Dutch mother Gigi (Yolanda Hadid, Gigi's mother is Dutch and her father Mohamed Hadid is Palestinian) and British Pakistani father Zayn, which would lead to several questions and the parents would have to address it and teach Khai how to address it given the current political climate.
Gigi seemed to have given this a lot of thought and shared her own experience of growing in a multiethnic home. Talking about how she and Zayn discuss the importance of holding on to their heritage, Gigi shared, “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. We are that first generation of those mixed races, and then 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 went on, “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? Do you know what I’m saying?"
She added, “I think that Khai will grow up feeling out the way that she can or wants to be a bridge for her different ethnicities, but I think that it will be nice to be able to have those conversations, and see where she comes from it, without us putting that onto her. What comes from her is what I’m most excited about, and being able to add to that or answer her questions, you know?”