Judging from her Instagram stories over the weekend, Bella Hadid had the time for her life at Coachella. But not everyone is happy with her behavior. Shortly after the 21-year-old was spotted at the festival, she was accused on Twitter of saying the N-word while rapping to a Lil Wayne song.
In a video apparently screen-recorded from Hadid’s Instagram stories, the model can be seen standing behind a friend, who records her singing along to Lil Wayne’s “Rich as Fuck.” Due to the volume of the music, it’s unclear whether Hadid was lip-syncing or actually said the N-word, but neither is OK. The use of the N-word by non-black people is offensive and a case of cultural appropriation (even if not intended as outright racism).
Considering that Hadid isn’t black, many Twitter users lambasted her for using the word, even if she was rapping the lyrics to a song.
After Hadid’s video went viral, Twitter users dug up old tweets from Hadid in which she used the N-word and wrote racially insensitive comments. Some critics consider them to be evidence that Hadid’s use of the N-word at Coachella shouldn’t be surprising.
Regardless of whether you think Hadid actually said the N-word aloud at Coachella, the combined impact of incidents like these—which might not be as big of a deal to fans when taken individually—speak to a larger issue. Hadid has more than 17 million Instagram followers and a huge influence, especially among young, impressionable fans.
While Hadid herself is also young and certainly has plenty of her own life lessons to learn, we can’t help but wish she’d be a bit more careful with her words and actions, particularly when in public. Like it or not, celebrities of her stature send a message with everything they do—and we’d hate for her fans to get the idea that some of the behaviors Hadid is modeling are OK.
StyleCaster has reached out to a representative for Hadid for comment and will update this post if we hear back.