Fashion’s “it” girl Gigi Hadid has been killing it on the runways at this year’s New York Fashion Week — and she’s not about to let a hoard of body-shaming internet trolls slow her down.
In a series of recent tweets, Hadid passionately came to her own defense against online critics who have complained of a noticeable drop in her weight over the past few years, explaining that the change is due to Hashimoto’s disease (also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, for those who like scary-sounding scientific terms).
“For those of you so determined to come up w why my body has changed over the years, you may not know that when I started @ 17 I was not yet diagnosed w/Hashimoto’s disease; those of u who called me ‘too big for the industry’ were seeing inflammation & water retention due to that,” Hadid begins.
The 20-year-old model goes on to explain that over the past few years, she’s received medication to help with symptoms of the disease, including “extreme fatigue, metabolism issues, the body’s ability to retain heat, etc.”
Hadid continues: “Although stress & excessive travel can also affect the body, I have always eaten the same, my body just handles it differently now that my health is better. I may be ‘too skinny’ for u, honestly this skinny isn’t what I want to be, but I feel healthier internally and am still learning and growing with my body everyday, as everyone is.”
Hadid declares that she is done explaining her look to haters — a decision we can totally get behind.
The daughter of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Yolanda Hadid first revealed her diagnosis via Twitter back in 2014 , then mentioned it again at Reebok’s #NeverPerfect event in New York in 2016, People reports. Zoe Zaldana, Victoria Justice, Gina Rodriguez and Nia Vardalos also battle the autoimmune disease.
So what exactly are these celebs suffering from? Hashimoto’s disease, also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder caused by an underactive thyroid, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. It causes your immune system to attack your thyroid, a gland in your neck, which prevents it from producing enough thyroid hormones — a condition called hypothyroidism.
Your body needs thyroid hormones to use energy, stay warm and keep your organs functioning properly, according to the American Thyroid Association. Symptoms include weight gain, which explains why Hadid mentions that before she received treatment for the disease haters would call her “too big.” Happily, as in Hadid’s case, medication can be used to control Hashimoto’s disease and relieve the symptoms.
Hadid concluded her Twitter rant with a positive message that both fans and haters can take to heart: “Please, as social media users & human beings in general, learn to have more empathy for others and know that you never really know the whole story. Use your energy to lift those that you admire rather than be cruel to those u don’t.”
Bravo! For those interested in the right diet for someone who has Hashimoto’s, click here.
Read more: Ruby Rose, Kim Kardashian and 20 Other Celebs’ Great Responses to Body Shaming