Bella Hadid covers the latest issue of (digital) Elle, in what continues to be another issue devoted to “magazines trying to figure out how to do cover shoots.” The interviews are one thing, and celebrities and journalists seem fine with doing Zoom interviews at this point. But the fact that so many magazines are extraordinarily flummoxed by “what will we do for photos?!?” seems ridiculous. Either send a photographer to do a socially-distanced outdoor photoshoot or just get the celebrity to organize a photoshoot themselves. It’s not rocket science! But here we are, looking at another awkward iPhone photoshoot. Anyway, you can see the full editorial here. Some highlights from the interview:
What Bella sees as her responsibility within Black Lives Matter: “I have so much responsibility to use my platform for good, especially as I get older. 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.
The fashion industry’s race problem: “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. 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].
What she thinks will change in fashion because of the pandemic: “I’ve had a lot of time to reflect during my quarantine, and I’m really eager to get back to work and make art again. Moving into the next season, I hope we can find a proactive way to move forward in a safe, healthy way. I think that our sets will be smaller and more intimate, which will be nice for a change. We’ll also need to be aware of not using the same makeup brushes at shows, and implement many other health regulations to keep people safe. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do, but I feel with the right people, fashion can change everything.
Whether she ever censors herself for fear of losing fans: “Horrible tragedies happen worldwide on a daily basis, and I have a responsibility to speak up for the people who are not being heard or don’t have a platform. I’ve come to realize that it’s often not about what you say, but how you say it. I never feel nervous about expressing myself when I believe in something. I don’t want any of my followers to feel alienated by my posts, but there are things that I must speak up about. One post can educate a lot of people, and most of the time, what I write resonates with my followers and they realize that they are not alone. I hope people can feel empowered by that. If I am passionate about something, I will talk about it, and talk and talk and talk. For me, it’s not about losing followers or gaining followers, it’s about educating people and giving a platform to the voices that need to be heard.
What she missed during the lockdown: “I miss smiling at people. I miss hugging, a lot. I miss walking around and listening to music. It’s different when you’re in the city. You can walk forever—going nowhere and somehow still feeling like you’ve got somewhere to be. [I miss] working. After a few years of being a workaholic—not being home for more than five days—I found spending three months at home [intense].”
I don’t have a problem with anything she said here. She sounds like she’s tried to educate herself on how best to be an ally but not make everything about a performative allyship, you know? I’m especially interested in what she says about the fashion industry and seeing her friends have to do their own makeup because white makeup artists don’t know how to do it, and white hair stylists don’t know how to do Black hair. That’s part of a larger reckoning that needs to happen in the fashion industry and it honestly does not seem like the “powers that be” within fashion are willing to make those changes.
Photos and cover courtesy of Elle Magazine, IG.