New mom Gigi Hadid just got real about how she and Zayn Malik are raising Khai to embrace her nationality. Yep, while chatting with i-D recently, the model got real about how she is teaching her mixed daughter to become a bridge for her different ethnicities, while reflecting on her own sense of identity.
“[Zayn and I] think about it and talk about it a lot as partners and it’s something that’s really important to us, but it’s also something that we first experienced ourselves,” Hadid, who is Palestinian-American, explained. “We are that first generation of those mixed races, and then that comes with that first generational experience of being like, ‘Oh damn, I’m the bridge!’ That’s not something that my parents experienced or that they can really help me through. It’s something I’ve always thought about my whole life. In certain situations, I feel – or I’m made to feel – that I’m too white to stand up for part of my Arab heritage. You go through life trying to figure out where you fit in racially. Is what I am, or what I have, enough to do what I feel is right?” she said. “But then, also, is that taking advantage of the privilege of having the whiteness within me, right? Am I allowed to speak for this side of me, or is that speaking on something that I don’t experience enough to know?”
She continued, “I think that Khai will grow up feeling out the way that she can or wants to be a bridge for her different ethnicities. I think that it will be nice to be able to have those conversations, and see where she comes from [with] it, without us putting that onto her. What comes from her is what I’m most excited about, and being able to add to that or answer her questions, you know?”
What Else Have Gigi Hadid And Zayn Malik Said About Parenting Khai?
For those who forgot, baby Khai entered the world in September 2020. At the time, Malik took to Instagram to share the exciting news.
“Our baby girl is here, healthy and beautiful,” he wrote on Instagram right after she was born, alongside a touching pic that showed her tiny hand. “To try put into words how I am feeling right now would be an impossible task. The love I feel for this tiny human is beyond my understanding. Grateful to know her, proud to call her mine and thankful for the life we will have together.”
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Hadid added in a post of her own, “Our girl joined us Earth-side this weekend and she’s already changed our world. So in love.”
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Back in March 2021, the former One Direction member got real about what it was like to be a dad.
“Honestly, it’s amazing. A lot of people that I was speaking to obviously before she was born and stuff were like, you know, it’s a big adjustment and it’s going to be a massive change and stuff, but honestly, she’s an amazing baby. It’s been really easy for me and Gig to kind of just ease into it. She kind of made it easy for us. She sleeps really well, she loves her milk,” he said. “It’s just feeding and changing diapers at the minute. It’s wicked. I’m enjoying it, for sure.”
The singer added that because he was always so career-driven, it was hard for him to imagine himself being a good dad.
“There’s a lot of things that are definitely surprising. I didn’t expect to be quite so into it, to be honest with you,” he added. “I was always into myself, doing my own thing, writing, recording, making music. I was very focused on my career. I had time for my relationship and stuff, too, but it was still solely about me. The fact that she’s been so easy to just adjust to has been surprising to me, because I just love spending my days with her, hanging out with her, just doing really relaxing, chill stuff. Just watching kid shows on TV, on Netflix, learning nursery rhymes, just rolling around with her and just singing to her,” he said. “It’s a really different pace of life, but it’s been really easy to adjust to, for sure. I think that’s the most surprising thing.”
What Was Khai’s Birth Like?
Previously, Hadid opened up about becoming a mom during Vogue‘s March 2021 issue, and she explained that she had an all-natural birth at her family farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It was a 14 hour labor, and Malik was by her side the whole time, as well as her mother, Yolanda Hadid, her sister, Bella Hadid, a local midwife and her assistant.
“When you see someone do that, you look at them a bit differently. I probably looked crazy, actually,” the blonde beauty recalled. “I was an animal woman.”
As for why she wanted to do it without any pain medication, she told the outlet, “What I really wanted from my experience was to feel like, ‘OK, this is a natural thing that women are meant to do.’”
Her original plan was to give birth at a New York City hospital, but after quarantining at her family farm amid the coronavirus pandemic and watching the 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born with Malik (which featured an at-home birth), they decided it was the right thing to do.
“We both looked at each other and were like, I think that’s the call,” she explained.
But halfway through, she started to regret the decision.
“I had to dig deep. I knew it was going to be the craziest pain in my life, but you have to surrender to it and be like, ‘This is what it is.’ I loved that,” the 26-year-old said. “There definitely was a point where I was like, I wonder what it would be like with an epidural, how it would be different. My midwife looked at me and was like, ‘You’re doing it. No one can help you. You’re past the point of the epidural anyway, so you’d be pushing exactly the same way in a hospital bed.’”
During the first part of Hadid’s labor, the “Mind of Mine” crooner put on the movie The Indian in the Cupboard since it was one of their favorites, and they watched it together.
“That’s something we’d never talked about but in that moment we discovered we both loved,” she gushed about the intimate moment.
And when Khai finally entered the world, Malik caught her! Hadid continued, “It didn’t even click that she was out. I was so exhausted, and I looked up and he’s holding her. It was so cute.”
As for what he thought of the experience, Malik compared it to a lion documentary he had seen, “in which a male lion paced nervously outside the cave while the lioness delivered her cubs,” according to Vogue.
“Z was like, ‘That’s how I felt! You feel so helpless to see the person you love in pain,’” Hadid said.
She also admitted to seeing some “terror” on his face during the birth.
“I know my mom and Zayn and Bella were proud of me, but at certain points I saw each of them in terror,” she recalled. “Afterward, Z and I looked at each other and were like, We can have some time before we do that again.”