Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik's 'gender fluid' Vogue cover causes controversy
Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik have just joined the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, David and Victoria Beckham and Alessandra Ambrosio and Jamie Mazur as one of the celebrity couples who have, as a couple, graced the cover of Vogue magazine.
Fashionista.com reports that the cover, shot by renowned photographer Inez and Vinoodh, features the millennial love birds clad in Fall 2017 runway items from Gucci and Ralph Lauren, which are supposedly gender fluid.
Online, Vogue even refers to Gigi and Zayn (GI-Zayn? ZaGi?) as "part of a new generation embracing gender fluidity."
Judging from the Instagram posts we've seen, the cover shoot is indeed gorgeous:
But what does Vogue think "gender fluid" means?
Buzzfeed quoted an exchange (of words and clothes) between the couple from the cover story, where they both admitted to regularly shopping each other's wardrobes.
In the editorial shoot Gigi poses in both suits and tracksuits (menswear essentials), while Zayn is posed in... suits and tracksuits too (just with peacock feathers and florals here and there for an added feminine touch).
Yes, we understand that Vogue didn't necessarily have to put Zayn in a floral, floor-length, backless gown to make their statement about gender fluidity, but they could have taken a few tips from Vogue Korea's 2016 gender fluid shoot, which featured an eccentric and gender non-conforming Jaden Smith in a skirt.
So what is the fuss about?
The internet backlash about this GI-Zayn cover shoot is because using cisgender, heteronormative people to represent gender fluidity just because they borrow from each other's closets every now and then takes away from the narrative of people who are actually gender fluid.
According to Merriam-Webster, being gender fluid entails not identifying with any fixed gender - people who feel that they are a mix of the two traditional genders. So the argument here is that perhaps Vogue could have used celebrities who actually identify as such?
No one is throwing shade at the fact that Vogue and high-end fashion labels are embracing the shift away from gender binaries in clothing, but we're just saying swapping clothes with your significant other of the opposite sex does not equal "embracing gender fluidity."