Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik are on the cover of the latest issue of Vogue because of course they are. To mark the occasion, the entire Vogue website has become a shrine to both of them, including but not limited to their “style evolutions,” an article on Gigi Hadid’s 500 pairs of sunglasses and their best “his and her hair moments.” There is also this ridiculous article about how they are both “embracing gender fluidity.”
Before we get into it, let’s remind ourselves what it means to identify as gender fluid. A gender fluid person does not identify with exclusively the male or female gender. This means they can fall somewhere “in between” (in a manner that isn’t necessarily fixed), identify with both (or more) genders or identify with no gender.
It’s wonderful that gender fluidity is become more and more recognized, explored and accepted, but to suggest that Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik are a strong example of a couple that’s “embracing gender fluidity” is absurd.
Sounds bad right? The way it plays out is even worse. After running through some pretty great examples of gender fluidity, Vogue comes to its heroes, saying the following:
Consider the scene one recent morning out in Montauk, New York, where the photos accompanying this story were shot: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik snuggle in interchangeable tracksuits as, nearby, Hadid’s younger brother, Anwar, rocks back and forth on a tire swing, his sheer lace top exposing scattered tattoos. For these millennials, at least, descriptives like boy or girl rank pretty low on the list of important qualities—and the way they dress reflects that.
Guys, I don’t know. Just because Gigi and Zayn wear interchangeable tracksuits doesn’t mean that they’re the poster children of gender fluidity.
To be clear, I don’t blame the couple, who are speaking about the unimportance of gender specifically as it applies to borrowing each others clothes. But Vogue has taken an innocuous conversation about Zayn liking the way Gigi’s Anna Sui t-shirt fits him and turned them into the poster children of gender fluidity. Not cool.