I have one question for you: Does the Malik Family know about Zayn’s relationship with Harry? If you think they know, please tell me why you think they know. If you think they don’t know, please tell me why they don’t know? (As usual I won’t be posting comments that try to make excuses for Zayn or justify the things he’s done in regards to Harry and his females.)
I’m making this post because I get asked this question often. For example, I got asked multiple times last week when looking for questions for a Q&A video on IG, I kid you not. So I figured I’d answer it here as well as in the upcoming video.
PAGE ONE: ZAYN’S IMAGE AND LEGACY
PAGE TWO: THE FEMALES
PAGE THREE: THE MALIK MEN
My answer is no. I personally do not believe the Malik family is aware of the nature of Zayn’s relationship with Harry. The extent of his willingness to beard and the extent of his unwillingness to be with Harry in a traditional sense (based on Harry’s pursuit and ‘waiting‘) has convinced me Zayn internalizes everything to a scary degree to protect himself, and therefore he doesn’t allow anyone into his confidence on that level.
I can’t envision a situation where he sits anyone down at any time to say he had a romantic relationship with Harry. For me, him doing that seems like a farfetched impossibility. Primarily I’m referring to his parents and sisters, but I also don’t believe his closest male cousins are aware either.
I believe this secrecy and perpetual tightrope walk leaves Zayn feeling alienated and full of angst and ambivalence. I believe he works hard to project a certain image onto the public with the help of people like Perrie and Gigi, and that ultimately it’s all for his family’s sake. No, I don’t believe he does it solely because he’s a former Muslim (since we know he left Islam by 2018 and is no longer a practicing Muslim) but I do believe traditional gender roles and cultural expectations play a role here, and that Islamic principals are the root of this.
In many ways, Zayn must still feel pressured to fulfill his gender roles and live up to certain expectations for the sake of his family at large, such as having a baby and being married to a woman. (Side note: I don’t believe any of this is noble if having a baby and being with a woman is not what is personally in his heart to do. Living a lie is not noble. Period. Unless of course you are being persecuted and your life is in danger, so you need to conceal your sexuality or religion etc, which Zayn is not.)
I won’t get into my thoughts on how I feel about Zayn succumbing to these expectations and gender roles and cravenly hiding Harry to the detriment of both their mental health, but I will get back to my original point.
Certainly Zayn appears family oriented (even though he left his entire family behind in the UK to adopt the Hadids in the US.) Despite being away from them and worlds removed from their opinions, pressures, and expectations, I still believe Zayn is consumed by trying to manipulate his own image in the eyes of the public and his family. (Which he has mentioned in the past: struggling with wanting to control how he is perceived by others and being overly concerned with his legacy.)
For the simple fact that he is preoccupied with controlling how he is perceived by the world and obsessed with his own legacy, I believe he hides his truest self from his family (both the immediate and extended members) and tries to impress them with his lifestyle with Gigi.
As with Perrie, Zayn takes pains to ensure Gigi has a relationship with his mom and sisters, and has taken both his major female partners home to celebrate Eid with him and his family. That sends a stern message of adherence to convention, and it is a hint at the direction his life will take. In essence, he is letting his family know what to expect of him. He plans to continue playing this role with these women and all future women he dates.
Harry does this too with some of his public girlfriends (letting them meet his mom) but in a lot of ways I noticed his girlfriends can often pass as good friends (like Kendall), so I’m not convinced Harry ever introduced anyone to his family in the sense of them being a long-term girlfriend, more like a vague and fleeting female companion, and I still am sincerely convinced that Anne (and maybe even Gemma) knows about his relationship with Zayn on some level.
Zayn having his girlfriends spend time with his family (sometimes in his absence) reveals a desire he has for his family to get to know these partners on a serious level, and therefore he is letting them know (subliminally) they should expect to see this particular partner around for a while.
How do we know this? Well, you don’t take a fleeting hookup home to meet the family (no one does) therefore, this step shows Zayn is rather committed to the façade of being a hetero male in a monogamous relationship. Also of note, he is willing to sell this narrative to his own family hard enough to have them participate in it while they’re ignorant of what else may be going on behind the scenes. Like most closeted men, he sells the narrative even as far as engagements and babies to ensure it will never be questioned (except by a valiant few like us who poke holes in his botched narrative all the time, and aren’t afraid to voice it despite how wildly popular Zigi is online and in the media.)
PAGE TWO: THE FEMALES