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I guess I succeeded at it because it came naturally." Coming naturally seems to be Hadid's go-to phrase; one of her gifts is that she never looks as if she's trying too hard.Jelena Noura "Gigi" Hadid's history is known to anyone under 30 with an Instagram account.
Hadid has the kind of fraught family history that has probably bought lovely houses for several therapists: Her biological father is engaged to be married for the third time; her ex-stepdad, David Foster, has been married four times and at one point was married to Linda Thompson, the mother of Brody Jenner and Brandon Jenner, her children by Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn). Just think of it this way: When you consider the looks of everyone involved here, they would have the most beautiful family reunion ever.One young fan said to me, "She doesn't have a lot of kiss-ass in her vibe—she reads as someone with zero fucks to give." At the same time, she can seem almost vulnerable.Responding to online trolls who have said that her fame is due to her wealthy family and her social media presence more than innate model perfection, she will admit to being a little wounded—but she laughs about it, too.Now, when deciding whether to hire an endorser, companies ask for the person's social media stats instead of the gross on her movies."Gigi was one of the best at monetizing social media in this way."Hadid herself acknowledges that she is something of a savant of social media, able to keep her fans checking endlessly for updates on her work, her posse (including Taylor Swift and Jenner), and her love life—she's currently dating Zayn Malik."I first got inspiration for energy in a photo looking at those Tommy Hilfiger family-picture ads, where there were so many people and it looked like so much fun," she says."I guess I saw what a lot of people don't see in models, which is that it's hard work, and you're not just another object in the photo." Hadid has worked very hard for her fame; let's face it—you don't get millions of Instagram fans by not giving a shit.
"I don't know if I got it from riding or school or volleyball or my mom or all of them.
Partially because of her mother, Hadid says, "I was obsessed with photographers and where models were supposed to fit in.
Obviously, I'm not taking iconic pictures as a six-year-old, but I studied models as part of an image, not just as a model, if that makes sense." She was transfixed not so much by the people in various ads but by the mood their presence created.
But she refuses to have round-the-clock security: "I have security at the right times, but I also like to walk down the street by myself.
I'm a Taurus; I'm hardheaded."She also could do without the assumptions that because she is a privileged girl from a family that's not exactly averse to the spotlight, she is not a "real" model, that she wouldn't have made it in this business were it not for family connections.
First, and perhaps most important to that bond, is her social media presence: 3 million followers on Twitter, 25 million on Instagram, and God knows how many on her favorite platform, Snapchat.