Gigi Hadid is one of the most successful models in fashion right now, so much so that “super” is starting to be attached to her job title. She’s the face of major campaigns from Topshop and H&M, and she has walked some of the biggest runways in the business, including those of Chanel and Marc Jacobs. She was even picked to lead the bikini-clad finale at Tommy Hilfiger’s island-inspired show for New York Fashion Week.
And yet apparently even she—a woman whose thinness and beauty has made her millions—gets body-shamed on social media. Hadid was driven to posting an open letter to critics of her physique on her Instagram page this morning (Sep. 28).
“No I don’t have the same body type as the other models in shows,” she wrote, adding, “I represent a body image that wasn’t accepted in high fashion before.”
The response baffled some of Hadid’s Instagram followers—”your body literally looks like other model’s bodies im confused,” one person wrote. But Hadid does indeed face online criticism for being slightly more curvaceous than the usual high-fashion model. As one commenter offered, she is “not necessarily fat but not as bone thin as ‘typical’ models.”
On a post from a few days earlier, showing Hadid walking in the recent Versace show at Milan Fashion Week, more than a few commenters evidently felt the need to offer their negative opinions on her appearance, as well as her runway walk.
One person wrote, “you gained weight didnt you, @gigihadid?”
Another asked, “why do her arms look so big? Has she been lifting?”
And yet another said, ”Money may buy you a career sad [sic] money can’t buy you a good walk or body.” That less-than-articulate comment was punctuated with two pig emojis.
The vast majority of the comments, it’s worth noting, were positive, and plenty of people came to Hadid’s defense.
Since Hadid’s modeling career took off last year, critics have wondered how much of her success she owes to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the reality show that starred her mother and helped bring her to the public’s attention.
And indeed, Hadid’s reality-TV pedigree probably helped, and her massive social-media following is certainly attractive to brands. But the unpleasant underlying suggestion has been that Hadid doesn’t physically fit the model mould. She was told early on that she was too big.
Brands haven’t seemed to care, though. They keep lining up to book her, and some ugly comments on Instagram certainly won’t change that.