Gigi Hadid Discusses Her Multiethnic Heritage and Raising Baby Khai to Embrace Her Mixed-Race Identity

In an interview with i-D published today, Gigi Hadid opened up about her pregnancy; parenting with her boyfriend, Zayn Malik; and navigating her multiethnic identity, along with that of her daughter, Khai Hadid Malik.

On being asked her sentiments on raising a mixed child, Hadid reflected on her own sense of identity growing up, sharing that she, at times, feels like she’s teetering between the several distinct cultures that comprise her multiethnic heritage. “[Zayn and I] 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,” Hadid told the magazine. “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.”

She continued, “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. 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?”

She added that she believes Khai will nonetheless grow up feeling proud of her origins and intends for eventual discussions addressing such issues to take place organically. “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. “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?”

The model also opened up about her experience with pregnancy amid the pandemic. “There’s a bittersweetness because I know that, obviously, COVID has been such a tragedy for so many people and families, and lives, and jobs. But there was a silver lining in the timing, in that I got to experience pregnancy and giving birth and being with my baby, and it was a reset that I would have had to make for myself, regardless,” Hadid shared. “It really gave me time to experience motherhood the way I wanted to, which was without a baby nurse and without a nanny for as long as I could before I went back to work.”

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

Hadid and Malik confirmed the birth of their daughter on September 23, 2020. The model has since been public on Instagram about her new life in parenthood with Malik. Several weeks ago, she revealed a throwback photo of her baby bump from quarantine exactly a year ago from that day, and last month, she posted another photo dump of her with Khai, writing, “The rumors are true: my best friend, purpose, muse, greatest pride & joy! I feel so lucky and inspired bein your mama, my Khai !! An old soul full of sunshine, you light up everyone’s days!”

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