If Gigi Hadid had it her way, she'd go back to the body she had when she was 17 years old.
Interviewed by Blake Lively for the May issue of Harper's Bazaar, the model, now 22, opens about about the social media trolls who constantly criticize her fluctuating weight.
When Hadid first rose to fame, she was body-shamed for being "too big," and lately, she's received a lot of comments from haters who think she's "too skinny."
"Most of it is just nonsense. But it can still hurt," she admits. "Nowadays, people are quick to say, 'I used to love Gigi’s body, and now she just gave in.' But I’m not skinny because I gave in to the industry. When I had a more athletic figure, I was proud of my body because I was an amazing volleyball player and horseback rider. But after discovering that I have Hashimoto's [an autoimmune disease], I needed to eat healthy and work out. It was weird as a teenager, dealing with this when all of my friends could eat McDonald's and it wouldn't affect them."
"If I could choose, I would have my a** back and I would have the tits I had a few years ago," she continues. "But, honestly, we can’t look back with regret. I loved my body then, and I love my body now. Whoever is reading this, I want you to realize that three years from now you will look back at a picture from this time period and be like, 'Wow, I was so hot. Why did I feel so bad about myself because of some stupid thing someone said?'"
Hadid and Lively then discuss the power of Photoshop. These days on social media, with all the apps that are available at our fingertips, it's easy to "fix" your flaws, creating unrealistic beauty standards. And when you're famous, with a team of professional hair and makeup artists, perfection comes easily.
"It’s so important for young people not to compare themselves with what they see online," Lively explains. "It’s our job as actors and/or models to be in shape. We have access to gyms and trainers and healthy food. And then on top of that, 99.9 percent of the time the images are Photoshopped. I’m guilty myself of being at a photo shoot and saying, 'That looks terrible on me.' And they’re like, 'We'll fix it.' And you’re so relieved."
"Those images are not real life," adds Hadid. "It’s my experience that your body will grow and change, and there’s always beauty in it, no matter what."
Hadid has been quite vocal about her weight in the past, never being afraid to call out body shamers via social media. Back in February, she took to Twitter to explain how Hashimoto's disease has caused her to lose weight over the past few years.
"For those of you so determined to come up w why my body has changed over the years, you may not know that when I started @ 17 I was not yet diagnosed w/Hashimoto’s disease; those of u who called me ‘too big for the industry’ were seeing inflammation & water retention due to that," she said at the time. "Although stress & excessive travel can also affect the body, I have always eaten the same, my body just handles it differently now that my health is better. I may be ‘too skinny’ for u, honestly this skinny isn’t what I want to be, but I feel healthier internally and am still learning and growing with my body every day, as everyone is."
"I will not further explain the way my body looks, just as anyone, with a body type that doesn’t suit ur ‘beauty’ expectation, shouldn’t have to," Hadid added. "Please, as social media users & human beings in general, learn to have more empathy for others and know that you never really know the whole story. Use your energy to life those that you admire rather than be cruel to those u don’t."