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Everyone has haters, but model Gigi Hadid has a few words for hers.
Following an appearance in a Tommy Hilfiger runway event on Sept. 14 in which the model wore swimwear, Hadid said she felt a bit beaten down by negative commenters on social media and their opinions of her body. “…I’m human, and I’m not going to lie, I did let the negativity get to me a little,” the model admitted in a post on Instagram.
The negativity was less than gracious, but the 20-year-old was quick to take the high road, penning her inspiring response:
“I came to a realization that when one gets to this point, it’s important to rethink why you’re doing what you do. What your message is. What you have to say.”
And a message is what Hadid has. She wrote:
“No, I don’t think I have the same body type as the other models in shows. No, I don’t think I am the best at any given show. Yes, I want a unique walk but I also know I have to improve.”
If you want to understand the level of hate Hadid must deal with, look no further than commenters on a Daily Mail story covering the New York Fashion Week Hilfiger show. One comment that read “Not the bum of a top model” was joined by “All other models on stage had better bodies than Gigi and her sister.” Another wrote, “How can you be that young, have so much fat and cellulite on your lower body when you’re employed as a model?”
And on a YouTube video of the model walking the runway, a commenter stated simply: “fat, fat, fat.”
“No, I’m not the first or last model of my type in this industry,” Hadid wrote in her post. “You can make up all the reasons you think I am where I am, but really, I’m a hard worker that’s confident in myself, one that came at a time where the fashion industry was ready for a change.”
“I haven’t met you yet @gigihadid but I FEEL you so much,” Banks wrote. “Your words are powerful. Your words are necessary. Your words are vulnerable. Your words are real. Sending you love and hugs. From one model that had curves and a unique walk to another, Tyra.”
But it’s not just Gigi and Tyra that have had to fight their way. Any model with a hint of curve knows the fashion industry can be a formidable space. Model Ruby Roxx, also editor in chief of Beauty Mark Magazine, faced down a network of online harassers who antagonize plus-size models by Photoshopping and reposting thinned versions of their photographs online. She responded with a fiery blog post warning that such carelessness with body image can trigger eating disorders and worse.
Or take Swedish model Agnes Hedengård, who was shunned for being “too big,” despite being runner up for Sweden’s Next Top Model. Rather than compromise her health, Hedengård responded with a little shaming of her own, making a video deriding the “absurd” standards of the industry that practically require women to obsess over a body mass index (BMI) medically regarded as underweight.
Now Hadid is taking on the public fight for body acceptance.
Photo via Gigi Hadid/Instagram
Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.