Fans and detractors alike have expressed concern over a recent that shows a deeply bronzed Gigi Hadid nestling in the arms of fellow model Justin Martin.
Many people on (and off) Twitter were reasonably miffed by the deep tan, and compared the skin tone change to blackface.
In response to the backlash, Hadid released a statement addressing the issue.
"This is a photo of me returning home from shooting my Italian Vogue cover on April 3rd… you can see the level I had been bronzed on set that day. Please understand that my control of the shoot 1. is non existent in terms of creative direction 2. ends completely when I leave set, and anything else done to a photo in post is out of my control fully. The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S.Klein has done for many years, and I believe was what was expected from the shoot (to show me in a different way creatively), BUT, although I understand what Vogue Italia’s intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid."
Considering the fact that she, the model, doesn't have control of the artistic direction of the shoot, her apology feels sincere.
She recognizes the danger of the optics of her skin being darkened that drastically, but she's also reminding people that she's not the one to target. Instead, issues of whitewashing, and more specifically - using blackface on white models is one largely perpetuated by photographers, makeup artists, and the entrenched racism of the beauty industry.
People had a lot of drastically different feelings about both the cover and Hadid's apology.
Considering the scope of her public profile, many people believe she could be more proactive in the outcome of her shoots.
On the contrary, many felt people's anger toward Hadid was misplaced and should have been charged at Vogue Italia.
Still, some didn't find the shoot offensive in the first place.
Regardless of the amount of power she does(n't) have over a shoot, it appears that she's seriously taken people's concerns into consideration. Hopefully, going forward, she'll be able to negotiate against future photoshoots of this nature.