Vogue has hailed celebrity couple Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid as pioneers of a “new generation embracing gender fluidity”.
The recently published cover article cites millennials who “don’t want to be defined” including Jaden Smith, who recently modelled womenswear for Louis Vuitton, and Evan Rachel Wood, because she wears tuxedos.
“This new blasé attitude toward gender codes marks a radical break,” the article’s author, Maya Singer, writes, noting that during the photoshoot, “Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik [snuggled] in interchangeable tracksuits as, nearby, Hadid’s younger brother, Anwar, [rocked] back and forth on a tire swing, his sheer lace top exposing scattered tattoos."
Singer then declares that “for these millennials, at least, descriptives like boy or girl rank pretty low on the list of important qualities—and the way they dress reflects that."
The article also features this interaction between the straight, cisgender couple:
“I shop in your closet all the time, don’t I?” Hadid, 22, flicks a lock of dyed-green hair out of her boyfriend’s eyes as she poses the question.
“Yeah, but same,” replies Malik, 24. “What was that T-shirt I borrowed the other day?”
“The Anna Sui?” asks Hadid.
“Yeah,” Malik says. “I like that shirt. And if it’s tight on me, so what? It doesn’t matter if it was made for a girl.”
Hadid nods vigorously. “Totally. It’s not about gender. It’s about, like, shapes. And what feels good on you that day. And anyway, it’s fun to experiment. . . .”
Critics of the article have been quick to point out that wearing matching tracksuits is a completely different thing from gender identity.
“Yes, it’s so much fun to experiment,” writes Rich Juzwiak in Jezebel. “Label vaguely androgynous fashion “gender fluidity”! Why not? Mix things up—literally! You can always take your boyfriend’s boxers off and wear them as a cape!”
Twitter users have also rolled their eyes at Vogue for praising the couple as groundbreaking genderfluid heroes.
Some Twitter users have pointed out that Vogue should take a few notes from its younger sibling, Teen Vogue.