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Vogue 'gender-fluid' Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid cover sparks backlash

Entertainment Weekly logo Entertainment Weekly 7/14/2017 Eric King
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(Video provided by E! Online)

Vogue is being criticized online for its August cover story — featuring model Gigi Hadid and her boyfriend, singer Zayn Malik — and its attempts to conflate clothes swapping between a heterosexual couple as “gender fluidity.”

In the story, Malik said he borrowed one of Hadid’s shirts. “I like that shirt. And if it’s tight on me, so what? It doesn’t matter if it was made for a girl,” he said.

Added Hadid, “Totally. It’s not about gender. It’s about, like, shapes. And what feels good on you that day. And anyway, it’s fun to experiment.” © Vogue

The Vogue story previously noted how fashion designers have begun “gender-bending” and designing in a more androgynous way. (“This new blasé attitude toward gender codes marks a radical break,” notes the piece’s author.) It seems like a sentiment Malik would agree with: “With social media, the world’s gotten very small, and it can seem like everyone’s doing the same thing. Gender, whatever — you want to make your own statement. You know? You want to feel distinct,” he said.

But most Twitter users expressed frustration at the fact that borrowing clothes and wearing pantsuits doesn’t make a person gender-fluid, which is defined as a person who’s gender identity is not fixed, and that the story focused on a cisgender, heterosexual couple.)

The cover has also preempted a few takedowns, with one even calling it “Shameful.” So far, neither Vogue, Hadid or Malik have commented or updated the article, which has the headline: “Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik Are Part of a New Generation Embracing Gender Fluidity.”

 

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