Gigi Hadid has said she’s been made to feel “too white” to stand up for her Arab heritage in a new interview.
The supermodel, 26, opened up about raising her 9-month-old daughter, Khai, and how she hopes she will one day be a “bridge” between her different heritages.
Hadid's mother, model Yolanda Hadid, is Dutch, while her father, Mohamed Hadid, is Palestinian. Her partner and Khai’s father, Zayn Malik, is of British, Pakistani and Irish descent.
"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," Hadid said in an interview with i-D.
"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."
Over the past month, Hadid has been an outspoken advocate for Palestinian rights, as violent clashes in Gaza saw 250 people killed and almost 2,000 injured, most of whom were Palestinian.
The model, along with her model siblings Bella and Anwar Hadid, used their platforms to spread awareness and information on the situation, while Bella also attended a rally in New York City.
"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 told iD.
"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?"
Hadid added that it will "be nice" to have conversations like about heritage with Khai someday, "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," she added, "and being able to add to that or answer her questions."
Hadid welcomed Khai, her first child with pop star boyfriend Malik, in September. She has kept much of her motherhood journey private, although has occasionally used her social media to offer a glimpse into her family life.
In May, on US Mother’s Day, Hadid posted a tribute to her daughter.
“The rumours are true: my best friend, purpose, muse, greatest pride and joy! I feel so lucky and inspired being your mama, my Khai! An old soul full of sunshine, you light up everyone’s days! Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she wrote.