Blake Lively Interviews Gigi Hadid on Social Media, Self-Love, and Women Supporting Women
BLAKE LIVELY:Live from New York!
GIGI HADID:I feel like I’m on a morning talk show right now.
BL:We should have a morning talk show! So tell me, before we do the local weather report, how did you feel the first time you collaborated with Tommy Hilfiger?
GH:I was so nervous, I almost blacked out. I don’t even remember walking out or taking my first bow as a designer.
BL:What’s so inspiring is that when you said, “walking out,” I wanted to say, “As a model or a designer?” You get to be both, which is amazing. Because for most of us, and the jobs we all do in any industry, no matter how glamorous, we’re workers for hire.
GH:I’m always looking for new opportunities. My manager regularly asks, “Hey, any new, weird ideas for this month?” And then I start talking about how I could design a wedding.
BL:My God, don’t start without me. I want to design weddings.
GH:We both have no experience—let’s do it! I would also be down with doing greeting cards.
BL:Well, you’re for sure good at curating images. I love your Instagram; it’s so artistic. My social media, on the other hand, looks like a screen grab from Supermarket Sweep.
GH:I like your Instagram!
BL:It’s all over the place. Sometimes I use filters, sometimes I don’t. I don’t use a nice even aesthetic.
GH:For me, social media comes up very much as a timeline. I was a sophomore in high school when Instagram launched and started posting the year after.
BL:Detour....Did you go to prom?
GH:All four years.
BL:Wait, you were asked to prom as a freshman? My God, you were cool. I’m so intimidated now. Do you have your prom pictures on there? Can we go down the Instagram rabbit hole and see all of this? Where did you get your dress?
GH:I never bought a prom dress; I just went in my mom’s closet. We wear the same size shoe and dress, so it was major.
BL:Did you have a “fancy gown” prom, or was it more Laguna Beach? I know, I’ve got high-class reality-TV references.
GH:In Malibu, we wore short dresses to prom because it’s a beach town. The gown situation wasn’t really our thing.
BL:Yeah, my prom situation was full-on Toddlers & Tiaras.
GH:When I see old movies, I love that about prom.
BL:I love being compared to old movies. Nothing makes me feel younger or more relevant. Speaking of being young, did your mom give you any advice when you started modeling? She was a model, right?
GH:Yes! She always said that with any photographer, no matter who it is, you can speak up if you’re uncomfortable. And I’ve done that. Obviously, when I was younger, there were times where, you know, things happen quickly on the set. Someone will all of a sudden say, “Oh, you wouldn’t mind … .” It’s about learning your power and knowing when to protect yourself.
BL:I appreciate seeing you take the reins: You design for multiple brands, and you’ve been a photographer for high-end magazines and campaigns. Your “branding” and social media feel like something a marketing company would love to have come up with. But it’s all you.
GH:That all took a lot of hard work by me and many others, but it was a very natural progression. After I moved to New York, my social media really kicked off. I remember the head of my modeling agency, IMG, would call and be like, “What do we tell the girls to do with social media?” But it was never methodical; I just did it. As time went on, Instagram started to seem forced. People would go get coffee just to take a picture, and that’s when it began to seem sad. Take pictures of things because you’re experiencing them. Don’t experience them to take the picture.
"It’s about learning your power and knowing when to protect yourself."
BL:Amen. And then there’s the lovely part of social media that everyone, famous or recluse, has to deal with: trolls.
GH:Yeah, and most of it is just nonsense. But it can still hurt. 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.
BL:You’ve been on both sides of it. You were body-shamed for being “too big” when you first started modeling. And now you’re body-shamed for being “too skinny.”
GH:If I could choose, I would have my ass back and I would have the tits I had a few years ago. 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?”
BL:Or because you compared yourself with someone online.
GH:Because those images are not real life.
BL:Exactly. It’s so important for young people not to compare themselves with what they see online. 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.
GH:It’s my experience that your body will grow and change, and there’s always beauty in it, no matter what.
BL:So true. It’s fun to try on the trends and enjoy the fantasy aspect of fashion and beauty. But my dream is for all images to have a little asterisk next to them with a caption that reads, this photo has been retouched. Just so there’s a gentle reminder that, hey, this isn’t real life. Think of editorials or ads as a painting, an art form. I mean, that’s definitely not how we wake up looking every single day of our lives.
BL:By the way, you look beautiful without a retouch.
GH:So do you.
BL:Okay, we really need to start a morning talk show—women lovin’ and buildin’ each other up feels so good. Now, over to Gary for the local weather…
This article originally appears in the May 2019 issue of Harper's Bazaar, available on newsstands April 24.
Hair: Joey George for Oribe; Makeup: Erin Parsons for Maybelline New York; Manicure: Mei Kawajiri; Production: Shelley Tassin for JN Production; Set Design: Dorothée Baussan for Mary Howard Studio.
Video: Blake Lively and Gigi Hadid want girls to love their bodies | Daily Scoop
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