a case for body positivity.

Sep 28, 2015

For most of us familiar with her, Gigi Hadid is synonymous with beauty – never-ending legs, covetable curves, and a mane of blonde hair. It would be surprising, to say the least, that a person with a reputation as large as hers would gain criticism for her looks. Moreover, that a model with such beauty (in the eyes of most), would need to prove to some Instagram followers that their harsh words won't affect her in the long-run. Last week, this is exactly what Hadid did, in a moving and unanticipated open-letter-of-sorts. In her post – which you can see here – the model addressed those who spoke negatively about her figure and allegedly unusual body type. I was surprised as news broke that Gigi addressed these followers, when many of her followers 'called her out' on her figure. But it was a wake-up-call that even the most beautiful and appreciated have their fair share of insecurity, largely fueled by the words of others. In her post, Gigi acknowledged that most people who share negative comments such as the ones she received are those who "don't know what they're talking about". Despite this, the weight of their words are not diminished and the 20-year-old eventually felt this burden. In a strong and straightforward note, she faced this, not shying away from honesty in any way.

What Hadid did was make a case for body positivity and achieving a love for your body; a love that is separate from the opinions of others. However, the most powerful part of her social media post was the honesty and sincerity. The fashion industry appears to be one where any sign of weakness of hesitance would be a huge liability; Hadid proved that this isn't the case. Like all of us, she faces insecurity and momentary lapses in her love for herself. And she showed that this is natural. My initial reaction to the post was one that I am glad to have corrected; I was surprised to see that "a girl like her" would face any sort of insecurity. This thought was naive entirely, and Hadid shattered this perception for me with her words. Of course criticism from others can hurt her – it is a natural reaction that any of us would have. She stated that, eventually, anonymous comments and even the most random of people could make her feel "self-conscious". Her up-front and wholehearted words provided lessons for us all: first, that your individual body type is yours, and for no one else to comment upon. Second, that honesty and acknowledgement of emotions is essential in addressing any truth. A simple Instagram post like hers was a vehicle for exposing this truth, and this was achieved without shying away from it. Hadid could have brushed this away, choosing not to address it as many celebrities or social-media personalities would do. But her move was much more powerful and effective in its execution. As she told Vogue, she she won't "change for other's opinions."

– M

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