Gigi Hadid caught the attention of world media last week after a video of her elbowing a man who tried to grab her and lift her in the air went viral.
The supermodel had a very uncomfortable and unnecessary encounter with a man, later identified as “prankster” Vitalii Selduk, when she was leaving the Max Mara show during Milan Fashion Week.
Hadid was visibly shaken by the incident as she yelled after the man and got into her car.
What was incredibly interesting about this incident, is that following this altercation, tabloids were incredibly quick to criticize Hadid for “lashing out” at a “fan” who tried to pick her up.
The headlines read “Furious supermodel Gigi Hadid lashes out at fan and has to be held back by security after prankster lifts her up as she leaves Milan fashion show” (The Daily Mail)
Or “NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR: Gigi Hadid aggressively lashes out and ELBOWS fan in the FACE as he tried to pick her up” (The Sun).
People were quick to respond to these articles on social media, including Hadid who tweeted that she is a “human being” and had “every right” to defend herself.
But why do we live in a society where women have to defend their “behaviour” after they are manhandled by a stranger?
Shouldn’t our automatic response as a society be to commend and praise the young woman for defending herself against a predator? Shouldn’t the headlines say more about how a random man grabbed her and how THIS behaviour is unacceptable?
Hadid’s actions were out of self-defence and yet the patriarchal society that we live in has us questioning whether her actions were appropriate.
It is never appropriate to grab or touch someone without their consent. Her actions were more than appropriate; his were not.