It’s a matter of fact that girls’ and women’s bodies grow and change throughout our entire lives; puberty is just one stop on the journey. And far too many people are reluctant to accept this reality. Gigi Hadid, however, could write a book about it — but she has settled for an Instagram post.
The star is only four years removed from her high-school volleyball days, which caused her to pack on some bulky muscle mass. But now, the statuesque model is devoted to her boxing routine, which builds lean muscle and has trimmed down her nearly 6-foot physique in the past year.
A photo posted by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on Aug 14, 2016 at 8:18pm PDT
But for one Instagram commenter (there’s always one), Hadid is now too thin. Reacting to a photo she shared two days ago of her svelte figure in a window reflection, one commenter accused her of being too skinny and trimming her once bulkier frame “to fit in” — in the weight-obsessed modeling world, we assume.
Ever the vocal body-acceptance advocate, Hadid struck back in a lengthy post aimed at the offender. “It’s called growing up. Bodies change as girls become women,” she wrote of her 4-year transition from a girl to a woman, as she put it. “I loved my body as a 17-year-old athlete, and I love my body now. Yes, I’ve lost some ‘baby fat,’ but muscle mass over the years from my intense volleyball training in high school has changed over the years into lean muscle from boxing.”
Gigi’s response to someone who said she’s going against her word and losing weight to fit in! ???? pic.twitter.com/b4f2WNsfCT
— Gigi Hadid News (@GigiHadidsNews) August 15, 2016
Hadid adds that work stress has had an impact on her weight, but she still feels strong and healthy, despite being leaner. She asked the rude, judgmental commenter to consider how his words might affect impressionable young girls “as they see their bodies growing and therefore naturally changing.”
Science backs up Hadid’s sentiments. Hormonal changes, fitness patterns, diet, age, gravity, bone loss, stress, mood, illnesses, and pregnancy are all main catalysts for body changes throughout a female’s life. And whether fans (and trolls) like it or not, models are not immune to these very human fluctuations in form. In many young women, like Hadid, they’re even a byproduct of healthy activities. Just look at the female Olympians, who range in type from compact gymnasts to long, lean runners to bulky body builders.
Hadid may be too skinny for some critics now. But ironically about a year ago, she found herself defending against the polar opposite — commenters who were shaming her for being “too fat” and “curvy” to be a runway model. Can this woman live?
A photo posted by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on Jul 21, 2016 at 3:37pm PDT
The bullying even came from within her own industry. According to Vanity Fair, Victoria’s Secret fashion show model Blanca Padilla told the Spanish show Al Rincón, “Most of us have to conform to extreme measurements because otherwise we won’t book any jobs, while others have the privilege to say that designers love them despite their curves. Well then, why do they love you? Maybe your millions of followers on Instagram might have something to do with it as well.”
Last September, during Paris Fashion Week, she struck back against the shamers in another open post. “Yes, I have boobs, I have abs, I have a butt, I have thighs, but I’m not asking for special treatment. I’m fitting into the sample sizes,” the striking, nearly 6-foot beauty 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.”
Hadid even gave shout-outs to famous women of all forms, including Ashley Graham, Serena Williams, Khloé Kardashian, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and BFF Kendall Jenner, celebrating beauty in every kind of body.
Still, she knows she’s going to have to have a thick skin as long as she subjects herself to criticism by having social media accounts (because that is, sadly, reality). “Everyone is affected by the pressures that come from being on social media. We’re all human. I’ll never say that it doesn’t affect me,” she said to the Mirror. I’ll post a picture and one person will say I’m too fat and three comments down someone’s calling me anorexic. So it happens to everyone. We all go through it, and no one’s alone in that for sure.”