Gigi Hadid Tells Women They Have Every Right To Fight Back
And calls out the media for its sexist coverage of her attack in Milan.
Last week, Gigi Hadid made headlines for elbowing Vitalii Sediuk, the man who grabbed her in Milan—and who also happens to be a celebrity prankster. It was totally uncalled for, and Gigi stood up for herself by fighting back.
And while the model should have been praised for acting in self-defense, she was instead made to look like the crazy one in the incident.
Alternative headline – GOOD FOR HER: Gigi Hadid Reacts In Totally Appropriate Way When Random Man Tries To Lift Her In The Street
After the incident, Gigi took to Twitter to address the situation—because in no universe is it OK for a stranger to harass someone on the street like that.
GIRLS, prepare yourselves so that, if you ever feel in danger, MUSCLE MEMORY can fight back for you. Thank you all so much for ur support.??
Today, the supermodel was featured in the latest Lenny letter, titled “Gigi Hadid Will Not Accept Street Harassment, and Neither Should You.” She chats with Lena Dunham about everything from the importance of self-defense to the appalling way the media covered the story. Her points especially hit home for women who’ve been in similar situations and have been made to feel like their self-preserving actions were wrong.
Gigi details how the moment she was grabbed, her instincts quickly kicked in. When 99% of women have reported experiencing some form of street harassment according to stopstreetharassment.org, I say more power to Gigi for having these killer instincts:
I played volleyball, and my coaches talked about muscle memory. I started boxing two years ago and I always remembered that. Honestly, I felt I was in danger, and I had every right to react the way I did.
The media has this ugly tendency to imply that women always have to be nice. If they’re not smiling, there’s something seriously wrong. So when Gigi defied that stereotype, she was made to look like the bad guy and that’s not OK. Most importantly, Gigi wants girls to know that defending yourself isn’t just a choice; it’s absolutely necessary in today’s world.
If anything, I want girls to see the video and know that they have the right to fight back, too, if put in a similar situation. 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. Confidence in your own ability to defend yourself comes with educating yourself about it, and is a massive advantage when in an unsafe situation.
Preach, girl ???? .
Gigi also addressed the negative media attention, specifically calling out The Sun’s headline, which called the incident “not model behavior.”
“First of all, it was a woman who wrote the story with that headline. What would you tell your daughter to do? If my behavior isn’t model behavior, then what is?” Gigi asked in Lenny. “What would you have told your daughter to do in that situation?”
I’m glad Gigi fought back not just for herself, but for all women out there. It’s sad that we live in a world where some people think it’s OK to grab a woman’s body for a prank or amusement. We need celebs like Gigi to remind us girls should never have to apologize for fighting back.