– Bella Hadid shared her thoughts on the racism that permeates the fashion industry in a new interview with ELLE magazine.
– The model empathized with many of her Black friends and peers who have expressed their frustrations with the fashion industry at large.
– “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,” said Hadid.
Bella Hadid has opened up about the racism that runs rampant in the fashion industry.
In the new August digital cover story for ELLE, the model explained the importance behind using her platform to relay news and information regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, following continuous protests calling for an end to police brutality after the unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and more nationwide.
“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.”
Hadid also expressed empathy for her Black friends and peers within the industry who have tirelessly voiced their frustrations with the fashion world in recent years.
“Going into the next season, my fear is having to see another one of my Black girlfriends get her hair burned by a hair straightener, or do her own makeup because the makeup artist hasn’t been trained to work with all different skin types,” continued Hadid. “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 Black Lives Matter protests resurged in May, Hadid took to Instagram to share that she would be donating to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She also shared her support of those protesting, donating, and demanding justice for the too many Black lives taken by 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.”
Other notable fashion forces have taken to social media to speak out on racism within the industry as well. Fellow model Joan Smalls penned a call to action for those in power to no longer be complicit in issues of systemic racism. Publicist Sandrine Charles teamed up with Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner to form the Black in Fashion Council, an organization of over 400 Black professionals who are aiming to represent and secure the advancement of Black people within the fashion industry.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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