Gigi Hadid Was Once Told She Didn't Have the Body to be a Model

Page Six Gigi Hadid may be one of the world’s foremost fashion models, but even she’s not immune to body criticism.

In her new cover story for i-D Magazine, the 24-year-old recalls her start in the industry half a decade ago. ...

“I was coming out of high school, I still had my volleyball body,” Hadid said. “It was a body that I loved. I knew how hard I worked to have those muscles, to be curved in those places – I kind of miss it now. At the time, people were hard on me and tried to say that I didn’t have a runway body.” ...

“There were still stylists or designers at that time who were putting me in their shows, but putting me something that really covered my body,” she explained.  ...

“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 tweeted. 

Whenever I hear stories like this, I'm always of two minds. First and foremost, I'm inspired by any tale of someone overcoming the doubters, pushing through the negativity, continuing to believe in themselves and ultimately achieving the greatness they knew they had within. 

But then I can't stop wondering what ever became of the people who told them they weren't good enough. Are they still working in the industry? Are they out there, drawing a paycheck for squashing the hopes and dreams of other future greats? We almost never hear from them. Rarely are they some high profile figure like Bobby Knight, who coached for decades after letting Larry Bird walk from Indiana to Indiana State because he didn't realize he was worth keeping. Invariably they fade into obscurity, like the high school coach who put Michael Jordan on JV and the scouts who said Steph Curry lacked explosiveness or the personnel guys who kept Pedro Martinez in the minors because they thought he was too small. 

In Gigi Hadid's case, it's a thousand times worse. Projecting the futures of basketball players and pitchers is an inexact science. Knowing who looks great in clothes while walking a runway isn't. So if you're one of those who thought she belonged in a giant bathrobe and baggy flannel pajama pants or whatever because you didn't think her volleyball body was runway material, how are you ever allowed to evaluate model talent again? 

It reminds of something I've heard Adam Carolla say a bunch of times. Take a movie that's like 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. "Aliens," "Apollo 11" or "Finding Nemo," just to pick three at random. If you're the critic that gave a negative review to a film that virtually everyone in your profession liked, doesn't that disqualify you from doing film criticism? By the same token, if you're the one who gave an OK review to something unanimously hated like "Gotti" or "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever," then why would anyone trust your judgment again? 

Obviously I'm not in the fashion world and I'm not asking for anyone's job. Let's just hope whoever missed so badly on Gigi has learned from their mistakes. And celebrate the fact that their negativity did not discourage her from pursuing her dream and achieving her destiny.