Gigi Hadid on How She and Zayn Malik Are Raising Khai to Navigate Her Multiethnic Identity

Culture

Gigi Hadid is i-D’s summer cover star, and in her interview with the outlet, Hadid candidly reflected on her experience being pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic and how she is approaching raising her and Zayn Malik’s daughter Khai.

i-D’s reporter Osman Ahmed asked Hadid about “how you’re approaching parenthood. So much of it is instinctive, but I find with raising a mixed-race child, lots of it is actively thinking about how to address that.”

Hadid responded at length, reflecting on her own experience growing up in a multiethnic household. (Hadid’s mother Yolanda is Dutch, while Hadid’s father Mohamed is Palestinian.)

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gigi hadid with zayn and her daughter

Gigi Hadid and Khai

Instagram

“We [Zayn and me] 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,” she started. “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.”

“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,” Hadid continued. “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?

“I think that Khai will grow up feeling out the way that she can or wants to be a bridge for her different ethnicities,” Hadid said. “But I think that it will be nice to be able to have those conversations, and see where she comes from [with] 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?”

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