I consider myself to be pretty easy going. I’m a laid-back, go-with-the-flow type of gal and there isn’t a lot that gets me riled up. However, once in awhile, I’ll see something in the news that brings out my inner feminist to a level I have never reached before. In case you don’t keep a close eye on the tabloids, supermodel Gigi Hadid was attacked leaving the Max Mara fashion show in Milan by a man who, considered by the media, and himself, is a “celebrity prankster”. Because apparently, that’s a job? Anyway, I’m not really a fan of people who prank others in attempt for fame, nor am I a fan of people who assault others and treat it as a joke. If you haven’t already seen the video, you can watch it here.
When reports of this incident were first released, the headlines were incredibly shocking. UK newspaper, The Sun, decided to lead with: “NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR: Gigi Hadid aggressively lashes out and ELBOWS fan in the FACE after he tries to pick her up”. *sighs*. I’ll let you guys have a minute to read that again. Not model behaviour? Really? I’m pretty sure if I got picked up by a random stranger I would be kicking, screaming, punching AND elbowing to try and get him off of me. However, it didn’t stop there. Even once that particular headline was redacted and changed, the words “aggressively elbowed”, “furiously” and “lashes out” surrounded the supermodel’s name in the headlines of almost every single newspaper that reported the attack. The words “aggressive” and “lashes out” are words that have a negative connotation to them and in my opinion, should not be associated with an act of self-defence.
To make things even worse, the man, Vitalli Sediuk, who was behind this assault, has also previously been arrested for punching Brad Pitt, crawling under America Ferrera’s dress on the Cannes red carpet, and more recently attempted to kiss Kim Kardashian’s butt, but was (thankfully) stopped by her bad-ass bodyguard. This is not some innocent prankster who just likes to poke fun at celebrities. He is a man who has assaulted and harassed numerous people. Celebrities or not, this type of behavior is not acceptable and the fact that he is only just now being sued, (thank you, Kim K) disgusts me.
Regardless of your opinion of these celebrities, they are still people and they deserve the same respect that we have. All I know is that if someone crawled under my dress, punched me for no reason, picked me up around the waist, or tried to kiss my butt, I would not take it lightly like some of these media outlets have been. Dismissing this as a “prank” is not only demeaning to the people who have had to deal with this man, but it is just further pointing out how rape culture is still very much alive and well in today’s media. Calling this man a “celebrity prankster” is hurtful to all the women out there who have been made to feel small for being hurt and angry when something like that has happened to them. And to try and make Gigi Hadid feel bad about defending herself? There are just some things I will never understand.