“What would you have told your daughter to do in that situation?”
To recap: On September 22, Gigi Hadid was manhandled by a stranger and then criticized for defending herself against him.
Leaving a Max Mara runway show, Gigi was approached from behind and lifted off the ground by Vitalii Sediuk – a former Ukranian television host. In retaliation, she justifiably elbowed the aggressor off of her. Afterwards, however, many online were quick to vilify Gigi for “aggressively lashing out” and “hitting a fan,” calling her act of self-defense “not model behaviour.”
Today, Gigi spoke out about the incident yet again in a Lenny Letter interview with actress, writer and producer Lena Dunham.
“Honestly, I felt I was in danger, and I had every right to react the way I did,” she said about her reflex to fight back.
“My mom has taught me the power of my instincts since I was a kid,” she continued. “She’d always be like, ‘pay attention to the people who make you feel uncomfortable. I want you to tap into that and be aware of it.’”
As the article mentions, what happened to Gigi is symptomatic of what happens to girls and boys every day, all over the world. In 2014, for instance, Gallup’s annual crime report found that 45 percent of surveyed American women feel unsafe walking alone near their home at night, compared to 27 percent of men.
“Practicing self-defense is important so that when you’re in the moment, reacting from muscle memory comes more naturally to you than freezing up,” says Gigi. “I just want to use what happened to me to show that it’s everyone’s right, and it can be empowering, to be able to defend yourself.”
A woman’s body is hers! Gigi being a celebrity does not make her “public domain,” just like no other girl exists for the ownership of others. When being mistreated, females should not have to worry about coming off as mean, cold or crazy. Instead, they should feel strong enough to stand up for themselves!
By not backing down, Ms. Hadid reminded young and old ladies everywhere, that WE belong to no one but ourselves and, for that reason, are in full control of our safety, comfort and confidence.
Thanks, Gigi. Keep slaying!