Stop Whitewashing Zayn Malik And Gigi Hadid's Baby's Name

Photo: Sky Cinema / Shuttershock
Zayn Malik And Gigi Hadid

I’m no longer listening to anyone who tells me that Zigi's baby is named Dorothea

It’s been four months since Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid’s baby was born and we can’t wait to hear her name. Like seriously, can’t wait. Can they just tell us already?

Even though nothing has been confirmed by the couple or any of their many famous relatives and friends, the rumor mill is going into overdrive with speculation on what the Zigi baby has been named. 

Fans have been listening carefully to Zayn's latest album for possible clues, but it seems to be Taylor Swift’s music that is stirring up most of the suggestions. 

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And while all of the most popular names are beautiful, none of the names pay homage to Gigi and Zayn’s Middle Eastern heritage. 

Fans think Taylor Swift’s Evermore album might have revealed Zayn and Gigi’s baby’s name. 

Remember when Taylor Swift revealed Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ third daughter’s name by including their other children’s names in a song called "Betty" on her first album of 2020? 

Well, people are hoping Gigi enlisted the help of her bestie to do the same for her baby girl. After all, Taylor did drop a second album a couple of months after Zayn and Gigi’s baby was born.

The former One Direction member and the fashion model welcomed a baby girl in September 2020 after a super low-key pregnancy. And even though they’ve been kind enough to share a few sweet photos of their daughter, they certainly aren’t in a rush to disclose her name.

RELATED: Why Fans Think Taylor Swift's New Song 'It's Time To Go' Is About Karlie Kloss

Gigi followed in Kylie Jenner’s footsteps by keeping her pregnancy hush for quite some time, and seems to be doing the exact same when it comes to her daughter's name. 

Leading suggestions based on song titles from Swift’s Evermore album include Dorothea, Ivy, and Marjorie. 

Then, with the Jan. 15 release of Zayn’s latest album Nobody Is Listening, fans suggested the baby girl could be called Calamity, the leading track from her father’s album.

Though the theories are somewhat convincing, the names themselves all seem to be lacking the cultural pride you might expect from a Zigi baby. 

Zayn and Gigi are proud of their Islamic heritage and their baby will be, too.  

Considering this baby girl’s parents have been vocal about their Middle Eastern heritage and are proud of their Islamic roots, these name suggestions all sound a bit, for lack of a better adjective, white.

Gigi, who’s father Mohamed Hadid fled Palestine as a refugee during his childhood, has spoken out about Palestinian conflict, and was raised as a Muslim with her siblings. 

Zayn, who was also raised in the Islamic faith, is of Pakistani descent. He has also used his platform to speak out against the discrimination he has received for his cultural and religious identity.

In a recent birthday post dedicated to Zayn on Instagram, Gigi even referred to Zayn as "Baba" — a pet name often used in some Middle Eastern and Asian cultures to mean "father." Already it appears the young family is keeping up some of their cultural traditions. 

So it would be surprising if the baby’s name didn’t bear some thought to her Palestinian and Pakistani ancestry. 

In Islamic cultures, the naming process carries a lot of spiritual significance. Families pay tribute to their heritage by choosing names that are used in the Arabic language. 

Gigi’s own middle name, Noura, is taken from the Arabic word for light. Zayn means "beauty," while the singer’s middle name, Javaad, is taken from one of the Quaranic names for Allah. 

Now that’s not to say Zayn and Gigi haven’t named their daughter one of these rumored names. Nor should we assume that they are obliged to name their child something with cultural significance.

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Trust me, this is all going to be quite awkward if we get a "Dorothea Malik" announcement soon. 

It’s just interesting that none of the viral suggestions have paid homage to the baby’s heritage, nor has anyone praised the beauty of traditional Middle Eastern names with their rumors. 

Both Zayn and Gigi have experienced backlash from fans who are often quick to mock their culture. Zayn was victim to a tirade of racist comments when he left One Direction in 2015, and Gigi was previously ridiculed for wearing a hijab in a photoshoot.

Many are quick to deny these two of cultural pride and the speculation around their baby’s name feels like an extension of this denial.

Refusing to entertain the thought that these two might choose a name other than some of the mainstream, cute girly names that appear in song lyrics comes across like a whitewashing of Zayn and Gigi’s heritage. 

All too often minorities and POC feel forced to "whiten" their names in order to avoid discrimination in the workplace or at school.

Hoping and longing for Zayn and Gigi to name their child one of these whitewashed names is equally as damaging as refusing to employ someone based on their name.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a generalist with an interest in lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.