Gigi Hadid Apologizes After Backlash for Appearing to Wear ‘Blackface’ on Vogue Italia Cover

The model shares on social media a statement which reads, ‘ I want to apologize because my intention is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else.’

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Gigi Hadid received a backlash after gracing the cover of Vogue Italia’s May issue. The magazine released on Instagram on May 2 a preview of the issue featuring Gigi on the cover, which saw her wearing a sequined outfit and gold crown. In the pic, her skin tone was unnaturally darker.

Social media users were less than thrilled after seeing the snap, accusing the model of “blackface” and being racially insensitive. “Her nose, jaw, facial structure are so edited I couldn’t even tell this was Gigi,” one user wrote. “Don’t book a model just to completely change the way they look. Disgusting.”

One other user similarly said, “that doesn’t even look like her” and that the photo was “appalling and simply disgusting.” Another added, “What in the actual world! She looks black, when she definitely is not. Disgusting.”

Following the backlash, Gigi has taken to her social media accounts to apologize and explain how her involvement works on the photo shoot set. Along with a picture of herself covering her face from the paparazzi, she said in a lengthy statement, “Please understand that my control of a shoot 1. is non existent in terms of creative direction 2. ends completely when I leave set, and anything done to a photo in post is out of my control.”

She went on explaining that her look is something that photographer Steven Klein uses in his editorials. “The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S.Klein has done for many years and I believe what was expected from the shoot (to show me in a different way creatively),” she noted. “But, although I understand what Vogue Italia’s intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid.”

“I want to address this for those who were offended by the editing/retouching/coloring of the cover. Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different,” she continued. “Regardless, I want to apologize because my intention is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else, and I hope this can be an example to other magazines and teams in the future.”

The 23-year-old model concluded her lengthy statements by saying, “There are real issues regarding representation in fashion it’s our responsibility to acknowledge those issues and communicate through them to work towards a more diverse industry.”

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