When Gigi Hadid comes to mind, one can’t help but think about a young, tall beauty whose face is seen almost everywhere, including the August issue of American Vogue. Hadid has been successful in her modeling career but even she, who has strutted down the Victoria’s Secret runway, has dealt with social media’s negativity and body shamers.
On this week’s Vogue podcast, Hadid sat down and spoke to Helena Suric, the magazine’s bookings director, for the monthly model series. Hadid opened up about her modeling career and body image. The blonde beauty also discussed the open letter she posted on Instagram last year addressed to body shamers.
In her open letter, she spoke directly to people who thought she didn’t have the right body for modeling. “Yes, I have boobs, I have abs, I have a butt, I have thighs,” she wrote. “Your mean comments don’t make me want to change my body.”
Hadid explained that when she wrote the open letter, she had just returned from a month traveling around the world modeling for Fashion Weeks. Like any other person with a hectic schedule, Hadid was feeling “overwhelmed.” Hadid said, “That was the journal entry that I thought would help people and let people know that they can speak up and defend themselves.”
It’s no surprise to see Hadid always active on social media: sharing photos from her latest shoots, posting photos of her close family, well-known friends and her famous boyfriend, Zayn Malik. With a following of 2o.8 million on Instagram, Hadid has encountered negativity and she admits that it has gotten to her before.
“Everyone is affected by the pressures that come from being on social media,” she said. “We’re all human. I’ll never say that it doesn’t affect me. Sometimes it’s harder than others.”
Despite what the body shamers have said about her, Hadid is secure with her body. Who wouldn’t be? Hadid reflected back on her body image growing up and self-esteem. “I never didn’t like my body,” she said.
“I was very athletic. I was proud of why my body was the way it was,” Hadid expressed. “You do everything you can to be healthy and do what makes you feel good and feel happy. That’s just always how I’ve looked at it.” Hadid definitely has the right mentality and this is especially important when being part of an industry like fashion where everything is about numbers and measurements.
Hadid became emotional thinking about the support she got after posting her open letter on Instagram. “What also really touched me that week was my friends that came to me that hadn’t done so before,” she said. “Everyone from my friends that are considered plus-size models to Victoria’s Secret Angels who are often shown a lot of hate for being too skinny. Neither are too much this or too much that — they’re bodies.”
The model also said that comments are the worst but she acknowledged it’s part of the job. “I’ll post a picture and one person will say I’m too fat and three comments down someone’s calling me anorexic,” Hadid said. “So it happens to everyone. We all go through it and no one’s alone in that for sure.”
Not even beautiful, successful models can escape the wrath of online haters but Gigi Hadid continues to gracefully stand up for herself and is still making her mark on the fashion world.