While the world continues to find ways to navigate during the global pandemic, model Bella Hadid is using the time to reflect on widespread protests aiming to address systematic racism.
The 23-year-old model recently was shot by her older sister, Gigi Hadid (25), for the cover of the latest issue of Elle magazine. It was then that she stated that she plans to be a good role model to others by inspiring people to “use [their] voice and demand justice for what is important to [them].”
“I have so much responsibility to use my platform for good, especially as I get older,” Hadid told the magazine. “I want young girls and boys to know that it is okay to use your voice and demand justice for what is important to you. I want them to know it’s okay to be empathetic and gentle but to be strong and speak your truth at the same time.”
“One post can educate a lot of people, and most of the time, what I write resonates with my followers, and they realize that they are not alone. If I am passionate about something, I will talk about it, and talk and talk and talk.”
The model said that her goals on social media are to “[educate] people and [give] a platform to the voices that need to be heard,” including voices in the Black community, who are discriminated against in the fashion industry.
“Going into the next(fashion) season, my fear is having to see another one of my Black girlfriends get her hair burned by a hair straightener or do her makeup because the makeup artist hasn’t been trained to work with all different skin types,” she said. “I hate that some of my Black friends feel the way they do. Even if they’re sitting front row, they’re not feeling accepted. Our industry is supposed to be about expression and individuality, but the reality is that (many people) still discriminate because of exactly (those differences).”
When the Black Lives Matter Movement was reignited in May following the tragic death of George Floyd, Hadid took to social media to share that she would be donating money to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She also showed her support to protestors, donators, and those demanding justice for the hundreds of Black Lives taken at the hands of police in America.
“I’ve been sitting here listening. Understanding. Educating myself. Making calls to demand justice. Donating. And reaching out to friends just in case they feel hurt or lost this week,” wrote Hadid.” If you are not standing in solidarity with the Black community TODAY and EVERYDAY. Please unfollow me. Black lives matter…Black voices matter, and the Black community matters.”
Fellow model Ashley Graham also spoke to the magazine about the importance of addressing racism.
“My son Isaac is only a few months old, but the past few weeks have sparked deeper conversations in our family around the inequalities facing the Black community and what it means to be Black in America,” she explains. “I want him to grow up in a world where justice exists for everyone, and no one is discriminated against because of the color of their skin.”
While there is much work to be done within the industry before equality is present amongst all races, Hadid believes that “with the right people, fashion can change everything.”