In case you somehow missed it, supermodel Gigi Hadid was attacked by a stranger on the street during Milan Fashion Week, where a man proceeded to literally pick her up, which is of course, awful and terrifying. Unfortunately, the way it was presented on news sites and on social media was also awful and terrifying. Headlines read that Hadid “lashed out” at the man in a way that was “not model behaviour,” implying that she lost her temper, when really, she reacted in the same way anyone would if they felt they were in danger. Watch the video below and see for yourself.
Now, Hadid has penned a terrific letter for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, explaining that she had every right to defend herself (which she obviously did, and it’s unfortunate and insane that she has to explain that).
Read a snippet of Gigi Hadid’s essay below and then head over to Lenny Letter to read the whole thing.
“I remember taking the time, as it all felt slo-mo, to look at him, a stranger, and my first reaction was: “Get me out of this situation.” I played volleyball, and my coaches talked about muscle memory. I started boxing two years ago and I always remembered that. Since then, I hadn’t been in a situation that forced me to fight back, but it just came out when he grabbed me — it wasn’t a choice. I do have that fighter in me.
Honestly, I felt I was in danger, and I had every right to react the way I did. 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.”
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