Supermodel Bella Hadid bore the brunt of a lot of social media flak on Tuesday and faced severe backlash for a picture she posted from an airport on her Instagram story. The picture shows the 22-year-old’s shoe up against an airport window with planes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the background; and created quite the stir on social media. Many took offense to the picture and #BellaHadidIsRacist immediately began trending on Twitter.
The picture was angled as such that some felt it looked like she was kicking the flags that are painted on the tails of the planes. The picture came under harsh criticism from many netizens from the Middle East and upon realizing her mistake, Bella Hadid removed the picture. She then took to Instagram and apologized for her post, which she termed a mistake.
She wrote, “Hi All, I am posting this to clear up a few things that have been weighing on my heart… To begin, I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful & powerful heritage. I love and care so much about the Muslim and Arab side of my family, as well as my brothers and sisters throughout the world.”
“Not only do I have so much respect form the bottom of my heart, I have always tried to stand up for what I feel is right, especially regarding the green Meddle East. I have never and will never be the one to talk down on these countries… Only to spread love, and the true beauty of them, as the way I was taught by my Teta and my father. To feel as if I have disappointed you is what hurts me the most," Hadid further added.
“The photo of my shoe on my story yesterday had nothing to do with politics. I promise. I never noticed the planes in the background and that is the truth. I would never mean to disrespect these airlines, let alone these amazing countries. I absolutely love these airlines, with the best planes and people," part of her apology read.
“I want to send a sincere apology to those who ever thought I would put blame on them, especially to Saudi Arabia and the UAE..this was never the case, and I hope you can understand the misunderstanding. I will be more responsible when bringing awareness to all cuases, including my beloved Middle Eastern community. Thank you for taking the time. I love every single one of you,” she concluded with a heart emoji.
The supermodel also took to Twitter to share the apology which read “this was an honest mistake on an early morning... never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry ..”
this was an honest mistake on an early morning... never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry ..— Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) June 17, 2019
Here are some reactions to the picture which has since gone viral across social media: