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METRORail Redline train, Houston, Sept. 13, 2016

Zayn’s dauntlessness is a clear attribute to his prosperity, but his career in entertainment thus far has served as a training period, forcing him to build up an armor thick enough to dodge the countless adversities thrown his way. It comes with the territory for every pop icon, but Malik’s cases of objectification cut a bit deeper.

Born and raised in the working class neighborhood of Bradford, West Yorkshire to a half Irish, half English mother and Pakistani father, Malik’s ethnic background has been put under fire throughout the entirety of his career. As the (former) only person of color in One Direction and quite possibly the West’s single most prominent Muslim celebrity, Zayn has faced a bevy of abuse in the form of anti-Muslim slurs and even death threats. […]

But despite the crunches, Malik has never shied away from being proud of his ethnic background, discernibly demonstrated in one of Mind of Mine’s more distinct ballads, “INTERMISSION: fLoWer,” where Malik incorporates Qawwali vocal techniques with lyrics written in Urdu. Given the record-shattering success of Malik’s career sans 1D, it seems the singer has more than conquered the odds faced against him.

vine

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