'My dad was a refugee and my mom was working on a farm...I work hard to honour them' - Gigi Hadid hits back at critics
Gigi Hadid has hit back at critics and defended herself against accusations she was racially insensitive when she appeared on the cover of Vogue Arabia wearing a hijab.
The 23-year-old model, arguably the biggest in the world right now, comes from a generation that doesn't take anything lying down and even moreso if that anything comes from strangers on the internet.
In Sydney over the weekend, Hadid jumped to her own defence when asked about the Vogue controversy, her work-ethic and the effects being mixed race has on her perception of the world.
"When I shot the cover of Vogue Arabia [I was told] I wasn't Arab enough to be representing those girls," she said, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. "I'm just as much Palestinian as I am Dutch. Just because I have blonde hair, I still carry the value of my ancestors."
She went on to defend her meteoric rise in fashion, crediting her parents for instilling a strong work ethic in her.
"People say I don't deserve to be where I am because I come from a successful family, but my parents were f***ing hard workers," she explained.
"My dad was a refugee and my mom was working on a farm so she could send money back to her family. They worked their asses off and they gave me this life because of their hard work. I work hard to honour [them]."
The Hadids are famously close and Yolanda's relationship with her daughters was documented on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills during her time on the reality show, which gave insight into their privileged upbringing. As for heritage, Gigi says she and former One Direction singer boyfriend Zayn Malik often discuss the topc.
"There are a lot of kids that have came from successful families that have no work ethic and I have worked with them and they suck and they are not doing well now," she said.
"I talk about this with my boyfriend. He is half-Pakistani and half-English and I feel like when you are mixed race and you come from two different worlds you get to see how both sides treat each other.
"Everyone has their own way of what makes them them and it doesn't mean that the outside world gets to judge."
Hadid said earlier this year that she grew up with the "guilt of privilege" and said she wanted to add more substance to her life than placing too much value on material things.
" It started in high school, and I was determined not to be defined by it, or by being pretty. I was a great volleyball player and I had great grades. That’s how I valued myself," she told The Times in July.
“It was always my parents’ money, and I was always going to get a job and live independently. I’ve paid my own bills since I was 18. My first Louboutins came from my first pay cheque.
“I think I can come from a privileged background and still be a hard worker and a nice person. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, and I hold myself to that. I try to work with integrity.”