Assault, in any form, is unacceptable and all too common. Unfortunately, I fear that most of us don’t know how to defend ourselves. What recently happened to Gigi Hadid, and how she responded, is something I feel all women should be aware of, and able to do.
In case you’re unaware of who she is: Gigi is currently one of the top models in the fashion industry. (If not THE top model.) Her sister Bella, who’s right beside her in the video, is a model as well. She’s been in the public eye for years through her modeling career and also because her mother, Yolanda Hadid, is a star on the popular reality TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on the Bravo network.
Here is a video of what happened. (Warning: This video does include swearing/foul language. Please mute as this is not suitable for work or children.)
In case you prefer text instead of watching the video, here’s a brief recap:
While Gigi and her sister Bella were heading towards their car, a “fan” took advantage of a distraction from a car horn to pick Gigi up and lift her off the ground. (To say that differently, a stranger put his arms around her waist, grabbed her, and lifted her in the air as though she were being abducted). Gigi responded quite well, in my opinion. She elbowed the man in the face (which allowed her to get out of his hold), loudly swore at him, and instructed her security guards to follow him to find out who he was. She and her sister then get in the car.
Invasion of personal space. Abduction. Sexual assault. Rape. Women feeling as though they can’t (or shouldn’t) defend themselves. All of these are (unfortunately) prevalent in today’s society. With the countless cases of college assaults and now reduced sentences in high-profile rape cases, women need to learn how to fight for and defend themselves. This man, who I assume is a “fan”, completely violated her personal space, and worse, may have even abducted her!
Gigi reacted quickly and effectively. She was able to fight off her attacker, call attention to the situation, and get away – all without the help of her security guards. (In their defense, it did happen pretty fast — everything took less than a minute.) The scary thing is – that’s all the time it takes — less than a minute can change your life forever. Gigi learned, practiced, and implemented some techniques to keep herself safe. The only thing she did that I’ve been told you should not do — is go after the attacker. If you’ve gotten away, stay away. But she was mad.
How is self-defense classy?
Knowing what your boundaries are, how to assert yourself, and ways to protect yourself is all part of living your best life. It can even save your life. Too often, we women are taught to be timid, quiet, and to let others stand up for us. But, what do you do if there’s nobody there? Now, I’m not saying become a “GI Jane — I’ve got something to prove” alpha-female. But, in cases of emergency or unease, you’ve got to be able to take care of you. Period.
6 Ways to protect yourself:
I’m no expert in self-defense. But here are a few resources I came up with to take steps in learning how to defend yourself:
- Locate and attend the R.A.D. System of self-defense. This stands for Rape and Aggression Defense. They have instructors in every state and have programs for men, women, children and seniors.
- Keep something with you to aid in your defense at all times. (Not to be paranoid, but to be safe.) Some popular items include: a stun gun, pepper spray, or a even a special key chain.
- Join a boxing gym or a martial arts class. You learn self control, how to fight effectively and you’ll get fit at the same time. (It’s win/win!)
- Contact your local law enforcement to see if they offer a self-defense class.
- Check with your school to see if they offer any self-defense classes.
- Sign up for classes with a qualified self-defense instructor in your area.
Note: For suggestions 3-6 try Googling “self-defense instructors”. It should bring up classes, gyms and programs in your area.
So, Bravo to Gigi for proving you can be feminine and stand up for yourself! And to the commentators saying “Gigi lashes out”… I say Shame. I’d rather lash out at someone who’s attacking me than take a chance at being abducted or harmed in any way.
I’m curious what you guys think about how she handled the situation. Let me know in the comments below, or, you can contact me directly.
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Stay Safe and Stay Classy!