A wise woman once said, “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” Perhaps Gigi Hadid, 20, had this track in mind when she hit back at trolls who claimed the model didn’t have a “fashion” body or, more crudely, that she was “fat,” during the spring ’16 shows back in September. Considering she’s walked such high-profile runways as Tommy Hilfiger, Balmain and Versace—where, as Hadid puts it, her “boobs and booty” first caught critics’ attention—casting directors, typically obsessed with pin-thin mannequin frames, would beg to differ.
But as evidenced by the Instagram manifesto that followed, even social media stars with 8.2 million followers have feelings. “I’m human, and I’m not going to lie, I did let the negativity get to me a little,” she wrote. The post received more than 16,000 comments, such as Insta user @helenajackson_’s “she is literally flawless,” which captured the reigning sentiment. That Hadid resonates with so many fans as an icon of body confidence might explain why she’s joined the ranks of the new guard of supers, alongside pals Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss.
It’s a quality that was on display earlier this summer when the Maybelline ambassador greeted me during the brand’s 100th birthday celebration at the spare, modern Toronto restaurant The One Eighty. While boyfriend-at-the-time Joe Jonas surveyed the skyline from the 51st-floor patio, the part-Dutch, part-Palestinian beauty dished about the bombshell spokesmodels who came before her, such as Adriana Lima and Jourdan Dunn. “I always looked up to these girls, and now I get to work with them,” she gushed. “It’s insane!”
Doing her part to promote Maybelline’s new Push Up Drama Mascara, she remarks: “I always use single lashes to open up my eye, and that’s what it does without [falsies].” Her translucent blue pupils were dramatically framed by double-lined cat eyes, the tops in white pencil, the bottoms in black, coordinated to contrast her tailored white suit, by Canadian label Smythe.
Even off-camera, Hadid’s style choices tend toward the bold. She’s inspired by adventurous statement-makers Rihanna and Zendaya. “I’m obsessed with everything they wear,” she says. “Not necessarily that I think I could pull off their outfits, but their style is so true to who they are. I love that.”
This true-to-self credo was crystallized in Hadid’s viral Instagram post: “Your mean comments don’t make me want to change my body…. If you don’t like it, don’t follow me…’cause I’m not going anywhere.” Now that’s staying power.
Click through the gallery to see some of Gigi’s favourite things