In an industry where success is defined by others’ perception of what is “really really good looking,” it’s tough to catch a break. Models, paid to be professionally pretty, are subject to the whims of an industry that is known for being as unforgiving as it is unpredictable. But worse than the industry are the opinions of the masses — shielded by the relative anonymity that comes along with online forums and able to hide behind computer screens, the ugliest side of humanity seems to lash out with particular fervor when it comes to commenting on models and their looks, bodies, and even their walks. And for supermodel Gigi Hadid, enough is finally enough.
The 20-year-old stunner has a fashion résumé that redefines the word “glamour.” Recently named “the world’s most connected supermodel,” Hadid has served as the face of Tom Ford’s fragrance, of Maybelline, and of Taylor Swift’s vengeful “Bad Blood” music video. She’s appeared in the Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition not once but twice, and has graced international catwalks, making her one of the top models in the world, all before being able to legally drink alcohol in the U.S. Her rise to fame has only been compounded by her suave social media presence, and yet, the channels that have been the greatest sources of her fame have also dealt her a few nasty blows. Despite the constant validation she’s received from designers and the hoards of Instagram fans who follow her every move, a number of Internet trolls and body shamers have scoffed at Hadid’s “too heavy” appearance, noting that her figure is not meant for high fashion.
So today, Hadid struck back. In an Instagram photo of a Word document that has since garnered nearly 240,000 likes, Hadid says, “So many people are so quick to comment negative opinions this month,” and she admits, “I did let the negativity get to me a little.” “No, I don’t have the same body types as the other models in shows,” Hadid wrote to an audience of 6.5 million followers (a figure which has likely skyrocketed since her viral 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’m just doing my job. I represent a body type that wasn’t accepted in high-fashion before, and I’m very lucky to be supported by the designers, stylists and editors that I am: ones that know this is fashion, it’s art; it can never stay the same.” And boy, is Hadid ever supported. Tyra Banks was quick to regram her post, with the caption, “I haven’t met you yet @gighadid but I FEEL you so much. 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.”
The Kardashian-Jenner clan was also quick to voice their support, and plus-size model Ashley Graham also came to bat on Hadid’s behalf.
Thank you @GiGiHadid for your love and realness on body love and acceptance. If you haven't yet, look at Gigi's IG post. It's compelling.
— Ashley Graham (@theashleygraham) September 28, 2015
But Hadid didn’t stop there — highlighting the different versions of perfection that manifest themselves across women’s body types, Hadid took to Twitter to express her love and support for fellow celebrities and their killer figures.
I ♡ @theashleygraham's body I ♡ my body I ♡ taytays body I ♡ Queen khloes body I ♡ A.Simpsons body I ♡ SERENAS body #ALLDIFFERENTALLPERFECT
— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) September 28, 2015
Because hey, to differ is human, right?