Gigi Hadid Comes Under Fire For Her Henna Tattoo, But Is It Justified?

Photo: Matt Baron/REX Shutterstock.
This year has seen many examples of cultural appropriation, and plenty of them deserved to be called out. But should Gigi Hadid applying henna to her hands be added to the list?

The model shared a photo on Instagram that features her own hand, along with those of four of her friends, decorated with henna.

Hadid anticipated she'd be chided for cultural appropriation for the tattoo, so she preemptively supplied a word of defense in the caption. "Before you go all 'cultural appropriation' in my comments, check out the last name. Hadid. Half Palestinian and proud of it," the model wrote.

But the caption didn't save Hadid from receiving plenty of flak over the shot. Many critics pointed to the Free Palestine movement, which advocates for Palestinian rights, saying that Hadid hasn't spoken out about Palestine in the past.

"If you're so 'proud' of being Palestinian, then why don't you prove it and take action by donating to Gaza?" one commenter wrote. While many users make valid points — someone who adopts trends or looks from a certain culture should be respectful of their origins — the outrage seems a bit misguided. Does painting henna on her hands demand that Hadid weigh in on the Israel-Palestine conflict? Or can she simply embrace a tradition that runs through her family, and share a picture of it with her followers?

See the photo in question, below.

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