Earlier this week, #GigiHadid came under fire after her sister, Bella, posted an Instagram video of them at a birthday party. Gigi can be seen taking a cookie in the shape of Buddha, putting it next to her face and squinting to make her eyes appear more Asian, like the Buddha. While the video was quickly removed, a Zayn Malik Twitter fan page uploaded it again:
After watching the footage, a lot of people started attacking her, calling her racist and even her boyfriend, Zayn Malik, got mixed up in the commotion. The video caused such a stir that #AgentsofSHIELD's Chloe Bennet, who is part Chinese, spoke on the matter. The actress posted a picture of herself as a child along with a message on Instagram, responding to Gigi's actions:
The caption reads:
"Dear Gigi Hadid, As a kid, (and frankly as an adult) people would make fun of me for being Chinese. For having "Asian eyes". I would laugh it off because it was always a "joke", and if I didn't I was being "too sensitive". But in reality it made me feel horrible. Like, just BEING ME was a joke that was not meant to be taken seriously. I was embarrassed of who I was. I dyed my hair blonde to make myself look less Asian just so I could feel "worthy" of the people who made me feel less than. Fortunately, now I know that none of this is true. That my value does not come from how I LOOK, but from my CHARACTER. From how I treat others. I know I am not alone in feeling these things. It hurts my heart to see someone like you, a beautiful young woman with so much influence, act in this inconsiderate way. This does not make you a bad person or racist, however, it does make you ignorant to the pain that your actions can cause others. No matter how unintentional those actions are. And, even if it was just "a joke". So...to the young Asian men and women who are used to laughing off others ignorance, even though deep down you are hurting. I HEAR YOU. You are badass. You are awesome. Who you are is not "funny". YOU determine your self worth. Be proud of who you are."
In true #ChloeBennet fashion, she couldn't resist being a bit self-deprecating and throw a zinger in at the end:
Also, I'm also sorry for how many run on sentences there are in this letter. Love, Chloe P.S. While I'm at it, Asian men are super sexy. So with all due respect fuck you Steve Harvey.
Chloe is a badass in real life, just like she is on the show:
In case you're wondering, that last little bit directed at Steve Harvey was in response to some disparaging comments he made about Asian men and black and white women not wanting to date them.
This isn't Hadid's first brush with controversy for impersonations. During last year's AMA's, the model came under fire for her impersonation of First Lady, Melania Trump:
Things got so heated that she had to release a statement through Twitter:
"I was honored to host the AMA's last night and to work with some of the most respected writers in the business," she opened her note. "I removed or changed anything in the script that I felt took the joke too far, and whether or not you choose to see it, what remained was done in good humor and with no bad intent."
Attacking people based on their appearance, religion or sexual orientation is something truly disgusting. But I think it's a bit unfair to treat Gigi so harshly. her actions were clearly meant as a joke and, as Chloe said, not intentionally racist. However, it just goes to show how unaware we can be of how our actions might hurt others, and it's clear that the young model has a lot of evolving to do in terms of being woke.
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