Bella Hadid has become subject to a large-scale boycott after her recent Instagram post became embroiled in controversy.
Last week, the model had taken to the image-sharing platform and posted a picture of her at an airport, in which her boot could be seen hovering near a window from which two planes – belonging to Emirates and Saudi Arabia airlines – could be seen in the background.
The picture attracted instantaneous criticism, with observers noting that Hadid’s boot seemed to be pointed toward the sections of the airplanes where the flags of their respective countries were situated, which many took as an intentional gesture of disrespect.
The polarizing reception also stemmed from the fact that Hadid, only a day before, had supposedly shared a New York Times article authored by a critic of the two nations mentioned above’aforementioned nations’ incumbent regimes.
Though the model’s representatives tried to deem the incident a mere misunderstanding, there were severe resultant repercussions in the Gulf and broader Middle-East region.
Immediately subsequent to backlash targeted at Hadid, malls and shopping centers in Dubai began removing her images en masse, followed by similar efforts to extricate the model’s commercial images across the seven other emirates.
Fashion brand Christian Dior, of which Hadid is the face, also took action, ordering the model’s visuals be removed from every single one of its stores in the Gulf region, whilst even canceling an upcoming promotional event featuring her that was scheduled to take place at the Dubai Mall.
Furthermore, citizens of the region also took to social media platforms and voiced their disapproval, with a plethora of videos showing consumers of brands bearing Hadid’s likeliness throwing their products in the garbage.
Hadid has since responded, posting a lengthy apology on her Twitter account in which she harked back to her father’s Palestinian heritage, mentioning that she had nothing but respect for the region’s Arab nations and that any offense to cultural or political sensitivities was unintentional.