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In 2016, you'd be hard-pressed to find a fashion girl who's not obsessed with Gigi Hadid. Yes, she lands the most coveted campaigns, fronts magazine covers left and right and gets photographed every time she leaves the house (always impeccably dressed, of course), but the newly 21-year-old model has even more than that going for her. Sure, she looks gorgeous 24/7, but it's her character that truly makes her special. Here are just a few reasons we love her.
Photo: Getty Images
She's Humble. And Grateful. And Nice.
When asked by Harper's Bazaar if she has "I can't believe this is my life" moments, she replied, "All the time. A couple days ago I was shooting a project ... the photographer was just taking a look at what he had shot so far, and I had to turn around for a moment, and I started tearing up because I just thought, This is so crazy that I'm doing this." Proving she's clearly still on cloud nine about her career milestones (like the moment she became a Victoria's Secret Angel, for one), we love that she genuinely appreciates and acknowledges the extraordinary opportunities she's afforded.
Furthermore, she's a walking poster child for showing kindness to your peers—a far cry from the mean-girl armor adopted by some in the limelight. In a 2015 interview with Elle, she summed up the new wave of camaraderie she and her friends promote.
"It's really cool that I live in a generation where we are supporting each other. It's becoming cool to be nice and to support the girls that you're in the industry with. It's pretty iconic and a very amazing sign that we're trying to show our generation that supporting each other is so important. We really want to be the group of friends and the group of girls that really pick each other up. We aren't there to compete. We're more happy for each person as they grow and succeed on their own path."
She Sticks Up For Her Friends
While it's certainly in to be associated with some sort of girl squad these days, it's true friendship when you stand by your pals through sticky situations. Such was the case with that Kanye West lyric about Taylor Swift ("I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b*tch famous"), which he debuted at his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show that Gigi attended. When the Internet erupted over the controversy, Gigi squashed any flicker of betrayal and tweeted her support saying, "My attendance somewhere does not mean I agree with everything being said in the music playing there. My friends know of my loyalty."
That wasn't the first time she's publicly come to Taylor's defense—when Ed Droste, front man of indie band Grizzly Bear, accused Taylor of controlling her friend group, Gigi tweeted back: "That's the biggest load of BS ... stop trying to create drama where there is none." Basically, you want Gigi in your corner—and as proponents of women supporting women, we think her penchant for sticking up for her pals speaks volumes about who she is.
She Has A Heart Of Gold
Despite a charmed life, Gigi has struggles all her own (most of which we surely know nothing about). One very public demon plaguing her family is her mother Yolanda's struggle with Lyme disease. Yolanda herself is an avid advocate for the cause, and Gigi has used her widespread social media influence to bring awareness to the chronic illness.
At last year's Global Lyme Alliance gala, Gigi presented her mom with an award honoring her contributions to the cause. Aired on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills this year, Gigi's speech was impressive and heartwarming on a number of levels—her testament to Yolanda's strength was tear-jerkingly touching and she was incredibly well spoken throughout. It's hard to deny her good nature upon witnessing such a genuine mother-daughter moment.
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She Promotes A Healthy Lifestyle
Gigi's athletic background has ushered in a breath of fresh air when it comes to supermodel standards, a welcome change in a day and age when these girls' well-being routinely comes into question. Though certainly lithe, she's outspoken in her support of an active lifestyle and regularly references her past as a competitive volleyball player. She's often photographed leaving a gym or posting boxing videos to her Instagram, and she speaks out about wanting to be a healthy role model for young women. She actually eats (burgers and fries are her weakness) and, like fellow model Karlie Kloss, finds joy in cooking. While genetics are certainly on her side, the standard of healthy living she promotes is important for the ongoing body positivity movement.
She's Not Afraid To Speak Her Mind
Rather than remaining mum about Internet bullying, Gigi faces her haters straight on. Whether it's a snarky comment on Twitter or just trolls in general, she's not afraid to call BS on people's unwarranted beefs. We still love what she had to say back in September 2015 in response to the negativity she was receiving:
The way she spreads love and light is the kind of positivity the world needs, on the Internet and beyond. We can't wait to see what's in store for her 21st year—happy birthday, Gigi!