A Tabloid Called the Hadids’ Books ‘Hot Accessories’ and People Have Thoughts

The New York Post called Gigi and Bella Hadid's books "accessories." Then the social media responses came flooding in.

Every mundane happenstance in the lives of Gigi and Bella Hadid has become tabloid fodder at some point. Whether they're leaving the house or wearing a thing, commentary on their movements and whereabouts is guaranteed. Recently a tweet from a large publication about yet another average Hadid activity—carrying books, to be specific—is drawing eyes for the wrong reason.

During Fashion Week both Hadid sisters were photographed carrying the books they were currently reading. For Gigi, that was Albert Camus' French classic The Stranger. For Bella, Stephen King's thriller The Outsider. As a former English major and present-day book hoarder, I was excited to get a peek at what the Hadids are reading in their spare time, in case I could add them to my own reading list—and then I moved on.

Gigi Hadid, minding her own business and carrying a book

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Gigi Hadid, minding her own business and carrying a book
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Bella Hadid, also minding her own business and carrying a book

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Bella Hadid, also minding her own business and carrying a book
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The New York Post, however, had other ideas about their handheld literature. In a tweet linking to a story about their outfits, the newspaper called out their paperbacks as the "hot new accessory of 2019." The story went on to imply that the models coordinated their outfits to their books, because a model would prefer to carry her book instead of read it.

Calling books a "hot new accessory" is wrong for, well, many reasons. Number one, books have been in circulation for literal centuries (look it up); "hot new" trends usually have an expiration date. Number two, calling their books out as accessories—ornamental and for show—implies that the Hadid sisters are more interested in the appearance of reading and less in the substance of the book itself. Even if you can appreciate how a nice book cover looks propped up next to a latte on Instagram, you have to admit that this language is a little absurd.

It might have been meant as a joke or a way to bring their reading choices into the conversation, but the tweet didn't go over well. I wasn't the only one who took notice and had questions—the reactions on Twitter were swift. Publishers like Scholastic Books and Little Brown Co as well as social media users shared the same opinion on the matter: Books aren't anything "new," and designating them as an "accessory" because Gigi and Bella Hadid carried them is low-key condescending to both.

Trivializing women who happen to be successful and beautiful, and also enjoy immersing themselves in literature, isn't anything new. Take last winter for example, when Amber Heard shared a shocking story from her experience on the set of Aquaman. She enjoyed reading between takes while they were filming, until costar Jason Momoa would tear pages out of her books to get her attention. "He adopted this method of ripping out the pages of my book so I would pay attention to him," Heard told ABC News last year. "It would drive me crazy because I'd have 30 pages left and it would be gone."

The Post has a history of designating normal and otherwise unremarkable things as "trends" just because they're associated with women. (Remember when it tried to call cleavage a "movement" in 2017?) Whether Gigi and Bella Hadid had "stepped out" with their books or not, books are doing just fine without them. Print book sales actually rose 1.9 percent in 2018, according to Publisher's Weekly. An endorsement from a celebrity on everything from what to buy to how to vote never hurts—but in this case, that wasn't the point.

So when a model leaves the house with a book in her hand, it's not a "fashion moment." It's something they're entitled to do like everyone else. Gigi and Bella, keep on keeping on with your books. Also, hit me up if you need a recommendation.

Halie LeSavage is the fashion associate at Glamour. Follow her @halielesavage and @haliereads.