Yes, you have seen her somewhere before. Yes, you do recognise her. And yes – she’s very sexy. Jelena Noura (‘Gigi’ for short) Hadid has seen a phenomenal rise in fame over the last year with a rapidly increasing, prestigious title in the modelling industry.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hadid was destined for stardom. Daughter of Yolanda Foster, previous supermodel and now star of reality TV show ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’, it is fair to say the Hadid girls are proof of the existence of the modelling gene.
Signing with IMG models at 17 years old, Hadid made her debut, walking for Desigual in 2014 at New York Fashion Week and has since walked for designers such as Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier and Max Mara, as well as starring on the cover of ELLE, VOGUE Australia and Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia. However, you probably recognise her from Topshop’s A/W 2015 campaign, or Calvin Harris’s ‘How Deep is Your Love’ music video, where she effortlessly struts her 5’10 bronzed physique around a swimming pool. The twenty year old also just signed a contract with Victoria’s Secret alongside her best pal Kendal Jenner.
“No, I don’t have the same body type as the other models in the shows. […] If I didn’t have the body I do, I wouldn’t have the career I do”
Most will confess that even in today’s society there remains a stigma regarding model’s personalities, with women in the fashion industry often labeled ‘thick’ or ‘vein’. So, with Gigi’s lively, bubbly personality, it came as a surprise when the superstar model of the moment received extremely harsh comments, with Gigi being told her body was ‘too big’ for catwalks. We are often informed of how the modelling industry affects ‘normal’ women’s self confidence, but rarely do we consider how ‘normal’ women may affect confidence via ambiguous, social media comments. Unfortunately, not only are girls attacking personalities, but as more women such as Hadid are attempting to create diversity in the industry with regards to figure size, we seem to be attacking this as well.
Hadid, alongside her impressive list of catwalk titles, confirmed she has a voice and a powerful one at that. Responding to haters, the model posted a lengthy Instagram post: “No, I don’t have the same body type as the other models in the shows,” she wrote. “If I didn’t have the body I do, I wouldn’t have the career I do. I love that I can be sexy. I’m proud of it.” The post raked up more than 300,000 likes on Instagram, and was swiftly celebrated by many in the modelling community.
Her words are powerful: She’s saying, indirectly, that the lines between models, curves, sex appeal, women, and ‘types’ are now blurred, whereas a few decades ago they were not. She’s telling us that to be a successful model does not mean being perfect – and that perfection does not exist. She admits to her flaws, but is proud of them. Her responses informed everybody what they already knew, that she doesn’t have the same body type as every other model – but more importantly she doesn’t have to.
Perhaps she may be an instigator in a new wave of feminism alongside Emma Watson, perhaps not. But one thing is for certain, Gigi Hadid has made a statement and it won’t be her first. It is refreshing to see a model who isn’t afraid to take advantage of the spotlight. The industry is notorious for it’s incredibly brief career span, and Gigi Hadid is fully aware of this fact. Similar to the likes of Cara Delevingne, Gigi told British Vogue recently that she is not afraid of ‘being weird’. It’s exciting to think about what’s next for Hadid. Perhaps more than anything, I’m looking forward to her walking the Victoria’s Secret catwalk with a banner that says ‘too big’. Or maybe an Instagram post of her next cheeseburger – they are never too big.
Follow her on Instagram here!
Image Credit: gigihadid via Instagram