6 Things We Can Learn from Reebok Global Ambassador Gigi Hadid

Photography courtesy of Reebok

Gigi Hadid has had quite the week. First she ruled the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (wings and all) and then she picked up the coveted International Model of the Year Award at the 2016 British Fashion Awards. But, after spending a day working out with the Reebok Women global ambassador, we can assure you of this, Hadid isn’t just a pretty face.

Yes, she may be on major magazine covers and featured in many, many campaigns, but at Reebok’s #PerfectNever revolution in New York City on Wednesday, Hadid demonstrated her impressive boxing skills and lead a panel discussion with some of today’s most inspirational women, including Lena Dunham, Zoe Kravitz and Ruby Rose.

Here are 6 other things we learned from Gigi Hadid.

You do you better than anyone

“Last year this time, people were telling me I’m too fat. This year I’m too skinny,” says Hadid. “I’m happy with what I am. I eat when and what I feel like eating and I do workouts that make me happy…Yes, my body changes like everyone else’s but it’s not about focusing on what the world thinks is an imperfection. I want to become better without it being a reflection of what I’m insecure about.”

Friends and family are key

Hadid counts herself lucky in this department. Not only does she have a tight and supportive family (her mom Yolanda Foster was there to support her at the Reebok Women event), she’s also part of the most famous squad going, and counts people like Taylor Swift , Cara Delevingne and Lena Dunham, (who she Facetimes regularly with) as friends “Pay attention to those in your life who make you feel empowered,” Hadid says. “Call and focus on those people. That’s important. Everyone needs that.”

Think about strength not skinny

She never went to the gym or boxing ring to get ‘skinnier.’  “I want to go to the gym because I want to be a better athlete, a better boxer. I want to work on something and feel like I’m improving…Being proud of my athletic ability rather than what it did physically for me is very important.”

Be nice

Hadid says she doesn’t take any job for granted and makes sure she gives her 100% at each shoot. “I know when I go to work and the people who pushed for me, especially in high fashion where people didn’t think I was ever going to work, I make a conscious effort to be someone they like to work with,” she says. “People who come up to me at the end of the shoot and say, ‘We had a great day with you,’ I can’t say how much more it means to me. I think it’s so important to be kind and just give energy to the people you work with.”

Change the channel

When it comes to celebrities’ social media accounts, there are the die-hard fans and there are the online bullies. Hadid has dealt with her fair share of both, but her industry experience and years as a competitive athlete (volleyball and equestrianism) have helped. “In the sophomore year of my high school, we worked with an Olympic coach for an entire summer and I remember screwing up my first jump and I let it mentally affect me for the rest of the course,” Hadid recalls. “Something he taught me was to ‘change the channel.’ My mom always says it to me to this day. It’s one of those things where I know she’s right. I have to learn to change the channel in my mind and move on. When my mind goes back to my mind as an athlete, it’s a lot easier to deal.”

Go on a social media detox

“I try to be authentic everyday and that’s a big part of why I’m going to take a month off of social media over New Year’s.” (Ed note: Don’t worry, she’s not deleting her account. She’s just going to take the app off my phone.) “Regardless of whether or not you’re making a conscious effort to not let negative things people say affect you, it does. When you’re able to separate yourself from that, you can centre back ‘Why am I here?’, ‘What’s my message?’, “What am I confident about?’ So when I come back to social media and go back to interviews. I’m not scared of every word I’m about to say. I feel more confident in myself instead of thinking about what negative things come from all of it.”

Challenge yourself

“I love cooking because it really calms me down. I love asking my boyfriend, ‘What’s a random thing you want to eat right now?’ I love challenging myself in the kitchen, so that’s really fun for me. Things that inspire me outside of fashion are the things I do on my day off. I paint, I cook and watch documentaries. So the things that make me feel calm and where I feel like I’m learning still. Or doing something where my brain is working. That makes me happy and there’s no pressure involved.”