Gigi Hadid has confirmed that she and Zayn Malik are expecting a baby, but there was more to the announcement than meets the eye.
The model confirmed the pregnancy reports during an interview to The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon, which he opened with a message of congratulations.
“It’s a nice silver lining to be able to be home and be together and really experience it day by day,” Hadid said.
However, during the heartfelt interview, Hadid made a point of highlighting the fact that she had been denied the opportunity to share her and Malik’s baby announcement on their own terms.
“We wished we could have announced it on our own terms,” she said. “But we’re very excited and happy and grateful for everyone’s well wishes and support.”
It’s a very fair point, and it’s one which so many tabloids have chosen to skim over in their own coverage of the video.
Why? Well, it’s worth noting that pregnancy rumours have been circling around Hadid and Malik for almost a week now. Indeed, all you had to do is type their names into Google and you’ll be hit by a slew of feverish speculation, as tabloids fell over themselves to bring you every little detail of the rumoured pregnancy before anyone else.
“IT’S A GIRL! Deets in our bio.”
As reported on 30 April 2020: with so many news outlets reporting the Hadid-Malik baby as fact, it’s unsurprising that some of their famous friends found themselves caught up in the furor.
Jameela Jamil, for example, was one of the first to react to the news with a congratulatory Twitter post. When she learned that neither Hadid or Malik had confirmed that they’re expecting, however, she respectfully deleted her post.
“Just in case it’s not true, I will save that thought til the couple confirms,” she tweeted.
Chrissy Teigen, likewise, was initially excited about the announcement.
“Gigi Hadid is pregnant and Gigi from Shahs Of Sunset had her baby today!” she tweeted.
“It is a big day for Gigis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats to all Gigis!!!!”
Much like Jamil, though, Teigen made an abrupt U-turn when she realised the Hadid and Malik baby reports were entirely built on the comments of dubious “inside sources”.
“Fuck,” she said. “I dunno if it’s true, I read TMZ just like all you.”
Grasping onto the one salient fact from her initial tweet, Teigen added: “Shit I have no idea, I just saw it trending, but Shahs’ Gigi def had a baby!”
By retracting their initial congratulatory messages, Jamil and Teigen have highlighted a vital point – one which we here at Stylist have made before, and will make again, as many times as we need to: confirmed baby news may be a joy, but baby speculation is far more than “harmless fun”.
As you’re no doubt aware, Hadid is just the latest in a long line of famous women who have seen the contents of their wombs pored over by the world’s press. Indeed, Sophie Turner, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Jennifer Aniston, Eva Longoria, Lili Reinhart, Taylor Swift, Princess Eugenie, Miley Cyrus, and countless others have all been subjected to unsubstantiated pregnancy reports in the past, too.
So why is this a problem? Well, for a number of reasons.
Women are not a walking, talking wombs
This constant ‘baby fever’ hammers home the idea that every woman is, essentially, a walking talking womb. That the only viable contribution she can make to our society is to spread her legs and bring forth a child. That those who do not do so, for whatever reason, are defective in some way.
As Jennifer Aniston – who has been the subject of countless “IS SHE OR ISN’T SHE PREGNANT?” articles – once famously noted: “The sheer amount of resources being spent by press trying to simply uncover whether or not [a celebrity is] pregnant (for the bajillionth time… but who’s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children…
“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone. Let’s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples. Let’s make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise. We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own ‘happily ever after’ for ourselves.”
A ‘bump’ shot is just another excuse to tear apart women’s bodies
Speculative baby reports invite the world to comment on women’s bodies. To zoom in on their stomachs for signs of bloating, to wonder aloud what that empire-line dress is hiding, to scan for any signs of weight gain. To seize upon any tiny bodily change, loudly and excitedly, as proof of pregnancy.
Remember when the paparazzi published long-lens photos of Eva Longoria’s ‘bump’ all those years ago? She felt forced to defend rumours, and saddeningly, in the process, made self-conscious comments about her own body.
“I saw some pictures of myself really fat on a boat and I have to tell you all I did was eat cheese,” she told fans at the time. “Everybody is saying I’m pregnant and I’m not. I was just lactose intolerant apparently. I just had to share because my whole family is calling me asking me if I’m pregnant.
“Yes, I look pregnant, but that was just a ball of cheese in my stomach…everybody gets bloated.”
Endless pregnancy speculation could be damaging to women’s mental health
Think about it: maybe she and her partner are struggling to conceive, and every time someone assumes they have a baby on the way, it’s like a slap in the face. Maybe she knows all too well that “baby bump” is actually due to an underlying health issue you’re not aware of. Maybe she’s experienced several miscarriages in the past, and doesn’t want to discuss her pregnancy until she feels certain that this baby will survive.
There are so many reasons a woman may not want to share her pregnancy with the world, all of them entirely valid. Try to remember that, eh?
A woman isn’t pregnant until she says she is
Maybe she is bloody pregnant but doesn’t want to share her news with thousands of strangers around the world. That’s pretty understandable, to be honest. Or, contrastingly, maybe she was waiting to make the announcement when she was good and ready, but the paparazzi beat her to it.
As one E! News follower wrote under the tabloid’s aforementioned Instagram post about Hadid and Malik: “Can’t you let people have their privacy and enjoy this moment on their own terms?”
Another commented: “They haven’t announced anything yet, so why are you still announcing it.”
“Why on earth would y’all announce this before either one has even posted about the pregnancy? I can’t.”
Perhaps the most pertinent response to all of those speculative Hadid and Malik baby reports, though?
“Foul play. Couldn’t even let them announce and your excuse is, ‘We are too excited to keep it to yourselves’? Bad move, E! News. Contain your ‘EXCITEMENT’.”
Update: Hadid’s mother has seemingly just confirmed that her daughter is expecting.
Speaking to Dutch broadcasting station RTL Boulevard, Yolanda Hadid said she was feeling “very blessed” about having a new member of the family on its way.
“Of course we are so excited,” she said. “I’m excited to become a grandmother in September especially after I lost my mom so recently, but this is the beauty of life, one soul leaves us and a new one comes in. We feel very blessed.”
It’s worth noting, though, that Malik and Hadid have yet to comment on the news themselves publicly.