Even Gigi Hadid Has Experienced Body Shaming. Here's Why It Matters
By Victoria James--Tommy Hilfiger told Yahoo’s Style’s editor in chief Joe Zee that his casting director called Gigi Hadid “too fat and short” to model in his fashion show in early 2015.
“Our casting director said, ‘She doesn’t really fit because you know she’s not quite as tall as the other girls, she’s not quite as thin,’” said Hilfiger. “So they put a red, white, and blue poncho on her. It covered a lot of her body, unfortunately, but it received millions of hits.”
Hadid has made a bold statement in the modeling industry, being one of the highest-earning supermodels in the world. Hadid also has a very petite, slim body type, which, while beautiful and healthy, is unfortunately what is expected in the “need-a-perfect-body” world we live in.
The modeling industry itself perpetuates many harmful standards. By favoring only one body type in the industry, it creates the idea that only one body type is acceptable.
But what happens when even the “ideal body” isn’t even considered good enough?
Body negativity is almost enforced for girls and women in society today. Situations like these teach them that even if you are thin, you are still not small enough. By doing this, society and the media are teaching girls to hate their bodies, regardless of their shape or health – leaving the “perfect body” impossible to obtain.
However, Hilfiger and Hadid have since worked together on several fashion shows and photo shoots, which seemed to set more positive examples.
“The casting people put Gigi in the poncho, and I was not happy,” Hilfiger said. “I was saying, ‘Don’t hide her body.’ Even though the poncho ended up being the best-selling piece, I was very unhappy. The suggestion that I thought she wasn’t thin enough upsets me to no end. Gigi is the epitome of perfection.”
“The point of that story is that Tommy was rooting for me and that above all, regardless of what the stylists of that season said, or what he put me in, Tommy wanted me in the show and Tommy was pushing for me,” Hadid said in an Access Hollywood interview. “Tommy loved my curves and the next season I wore a bikini on the same runway with the same stylists of the show that had previously put me in a poncho.”
It’s beautiful that Hilfiger accepted Hadid’s body for what it was, but that is how the fashion industry should respond to all bodies. No matter how curvy, short, petite, tall, or muscular a body may be, we must create an industry where they are all accepted and celebrated; no body is the same, and that is okay.