Nobody is immune to body-shaming comments, not even supermodels that seem to have it all. Sometimes, unfortunately, these comments manage to tear down people, destroying many lives.
Sure, anyone who makes a living in the public eye and has an Instagram account is more vulnerable to negativity, but to be honest what’s happening to many (Internet) celebrities is also happening to thousands of ‘average’ girls (and boys, boys feel the pressure too), all around the world. What makes the difference, and breaks the cycle of negativity, is the courage of young men and women who stand up for their right to be who they are, and invest time in fighting back this entire system of prejudices and intolerance that revolves around our society. One of the latest victims of body shaming comments, who manages to fight back, is Gigi Hadid, a young American model and socialite who made her debut at New York Fashion Week in 2014.
Gigi, who is a former athlete, shares the passion for modeling with Yolanda Foster, her mom, who also plays a role on the reality show The Real House of Beverly Hills. Although Gigi is following her mother’s footsteps, their path couldn’t be more different: Gigi, who was definitely blessed with an astonishing and healthy-looking body, began working as a model in the social media era, which means that she has always been more exposed to (anonymous) critics and commentaries than her mom. Furthermore, while Yolanda Foster may have never heard someone telling her she was too fat to work, Gigi has been receiving such comments on a daily basis since she first started out her modeling career.
Apparently, Gigi’s muscular tights, toned abs and curvaceous breasts are considered as ‘too fat’ by many of her social media followers, who spend their whole day telling her how fat she is and how not adequate she is to meet the fashion industry’s requirements. Although these negative comments mean absolutely nothing in terms of her career, a few hours ago Gigi opened up about this wave of harsh (and let’s be honest, delusional) criticism, revealing in a touching post on her Instagram account that they actually made her suffer.
However, proud of her body and with the help of her mom’s support (who has always encouraged Gigi to keep her curves along with her modeling career), Gigi decided to put an end to this vicious circle of negativity, saying that not only does she like her curves, but that the fashion industry is a form of art, and that as any other form of art it is prone to make some changes, which may nowadays be translated to ‘curves are the new black’.
In an interview with Vogue, Gigi Hadid tried to explain the reason why she published her open Instagram letter saying: “These are obviously also people that don’t think of you as an actual human with actual feelings, which I think is a really big problem right now in social media. There are people who feel like they’re able to hide behind their usernames and their private accounts, who feel like they can say whatever they want and it won’t affect anyone.” She then added: “At first, my post was for the people on social media that were being negative toward me because I genuinely do trust the people in fashion.” And while her main aim was to preach body acceptance among her followers, with this move she, of course, also received more love and support from her friends and devoted followers.
Although considering Gigi as a curvy model means there’s still a long way to go before claiming that the fashion industry is actually embracing curvy models (let’s keep in mind that we are talking about a drop-dead gorgeous indeed skinny and toned 20-years-old young woman), what Gigi wrote not only is a sign that some changes are actually occurring within this industry, but is also an inspirational motto every young girl should look up to, especially in an era were looking –conventionally good is the priority. Gigi’s act is not only an act of courage but a moral act; she did not just stand up for herself but for all those thousands of young adults, who are struggling with themselves and their body, and may today realize that the only approval they need is theirs.
Photos courtesy of @gigihadid, Vogue