The model was accused of racism by people in Saudi Arabia and the UAE
Bella Hadid has come under fire from those in the Arab community for what they perceive to be racism against them from the American-Palestinian model.
It started when Hadid posted a screenshot on her Instagram stories of an opinion piece from the New York Times about the massacre in Sudan asking “Why Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are backing military leaders who kill demonstrators.”
Although the story was quickly deleted, it was then followed the next day by another Instagram story, taken at the airport, in which Hadid’s foot is propped up against a window with planes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the distance. In Arab culture showing the sole of your shoe, which is associated with the ground and seen as dirty, is considered an insult and many perceived the image as a sign of disrespect from Hadid against the two countries.
In reaction, people have taken to social media to express their outrage, threatening to boycott all fashion houses who work with the model, posting videos of themselves throwing away Dior products, and circulating photoshopped images of Hadid with her shoe across her face, all under the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist.
Hadid, her family and many fashion houses including Versace who the model recently walked for, have also had their Instagram accounts flooded with messages of anger and calls to stop working with the model, alongside emojis of shoes and flag emojis for Saudia Arabia and the UAE.
Hadid has since apologised for the incident, posting yesterday on her stories in English and Arabic that she never intended to offend or insult anyone. “I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful and powerful heritage. I love and care so much about the Muslim and Arab side of my family, as well as my brothers and sisters throughout the world,” she writes.
“The photo of my shoe on my Story yesterday had NOTHING to do with politics. I promise. I never noticed the planes in the background and that is the truth. I would never mean to disrespect these airlines, let alone these amazing countries.”
The apology was followed up this morning by a tweet from Hadid saying, “this was an honest mistake on an early morning... never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry.”