If there’s one name in modeling you can credit with appearing to have it all, it’s Gigi Hadid. Possibly the most notable name in the next-gen camp of supermodels, the 22-year-old stunner is already looking back fondly on her pre-modeling days and the things she’s had to give up to become the biggest name in the modeling industry.
For the cover story for Harper Bazaar’s May issue, Hadid sat down with good friend Blake Lively for a friendly, tell-all chat to discuss the many hats the model, photographer and sometimes guest designer wears within the industry and how she deals with outside speculation about changes to her body.
“Nowadays, people are quick to say, ‘I used to love Gigi’s body, and now she just gave in.’” she tells Lively. “But I’m not skinny because I gave in to the industry. When I had a more athletic figure, I was proud of my body because I was an amazing volleyball player and horseback rider. But after discovering that I have Hashimoto’s [an autoimmune disease], I needed to eat healthy and work out. It was weird as a teenager, dealing with this when all of my friends could eat McDonald’s and it wouldn’t affect them.”
Seeing the evolution of internet comments abut her friend firsthand, Lively understands her frustrations with dealing with internet comments and outsider’s opinions on her body. “You’ve been on both sides of it,” adds Lively. “You were body-shamed for being ‘too big’ when you first started modeling. And now you’re body-shamed for being ‘too skinny.’”
Regardless of the collective opinion on what kind of model body she possesses, Hadid says the she loves herself as is but if she didn’t face physical challenges due to her disease, she prefers having a more ample figure. “If I could choose, I would have my ass back and I would have the tits I had a few years ago. But, honestly, we can’t look back with regret. I loved my body then, and I love my body now,” she says.
Jeff Kravitz/AMA2015 / Contributor/ Getty Images
One thing is clear for the lithe model, at the ripe age of 22, she’s already learned to appreciate how she looks now and to block out the extra noise. “Whoever is reading this, I want you to realize that three years from now you will look back at a picture from this time period and be like: ‘Wow, I was so hot. Why did I feel so bad about myself because of some stupid thing someone said?’”