Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 10 December 2019

People are throwing away Dior Beauty products in protest against Bella Hadid

Fans are boycotting brands that have worked with the supermodel, who is embroiled in controversy in the region

As malls in Dubai have begun to remove images of Bella Hadid from stores, fans around the world have found a new way to protest against the supermodel accused of disrespecting the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

In an emerging social media trend, users have been calling for a boycott of the brands, some sharing images or video clips of themselves disposing of Dior Beauty products.

Hadid, who last week offended fans by appearing to point the sole of her foot towards the two nations' flags in an Instagram post, is the face of the luxury brand.

Using the now-viral hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist, clips circulating show Twitter followers throwing beauty products in rubbish bins, or burning the packaging:

Others have sent tweets, tagging Dior Beauty as well as other brands that have worked with Hadid, such as Versace and Michael Kors, urging fans to boycott the labels in question.

"I’ll make sure all products that were advertised by Bella Hadid never get in my house again, and I’ll advise all my friends and family to do so," posted one Twitter user.

The post behind the upset was uploaded to Hadid's Instagram Stories last Monday, and showed her boot against an airport window, with planes from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, flags emblazoned on their tails, on the tarmac underneath.

The day before posting this photo, Hadid also reportedly shared a New York Times op-ed written by a critic of the UAE and Saudi on an Instagram story, but the alleged post is no longer visible.

The model who was born to a Dutch mother and Palestinian father, swiftly deleted the image after angry comments from fans, who explained why the positioning of her foot was so disrespectful.

The social media campaign to boycott several brands follows the removal of images of Hadid from The Dubai Mall.

The Downtown mall responded on Twitter after it was inundated with requests to take a stand.

"Thanks for your concern," The Dubai Mall wrote in response to numerous petitions to remove pictures of the American-born model from stores. "We ensure you that our nation and region’s cultural sensitivities are respected. We have brought the matter to the attention of the retailers concerned to take appropriate steps."

As a result, brands such as the perfume arm of Christian Dior have taken down campaign images featuring the 22-year-old.

"For appeasement, Parfums Christian Dior has removed its visuals of Bella Hadid in The Dubai Mall," a spokesperson confirmed to The National.

Luxury brand Bulgari also told The National it didn't currently have "any campaigns running in The Dubai Mall with Bella Hadid".

Mall of the Emirates also issued a statement on its Twitter account following the news, revealing the recent incident "with a model for one of the brands at Mall of the Emirates is in no way associated with the mall". [Hadid's post] does not reflect our values," the Al Barsha shopping destination added.

The mall also revealed it had cancelled a planned event with Dior, in response to a follower's query.

The National has also reached out to other brands that have worked with Hadid, such as Versace, or multi-brand stores that stock Dior Beauty, such as Sephora, for comment.

In a lengthy apology, posted in both English and Arabic last week, Hadid stated that her actions had “nothing to do with politics" and were the result of an "honest mistake".

"I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful and powerful heritage," she wrote. "I love and care so much about the Muslim and Arab side of my family, as well as my brothers and sisters throughout the world.”

The model, who has frequently spoken about her appreciation of her Palestinian roots, added that she would never knowingly speak ill of the UAE or Saudi Arabia.

“I have never and will never be the one to talk down on these countries ... Only to spread love, and the true beauty of them, as the way I was taught by my Teta and my father. To feel as if I have disappointed you is what hurts me the most.”

Hadid has not posted on her main Instagram feed or Twitter account since the incident.

Her last Twitter message reads: "This was an honest mistake on an early morning ... never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry."

Updated: June 25, 2019 09:42 AM

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