Supermodel Gigi Hadid Opens Up About Anxiety, Plans Social Media Hiatus

Supermodel Gigi Hadid Opens Up About Anxiety, Plans Social Media Hiatus

By David Konow 12/14/16

Hadid spoke about living with anxiety at Reebok's #PerfectNever female empowerment panel.

Image: 
Supermodel Gigi Hadid

Anxiety can hit anybody, so it’s not surprising that it also affects celebrities who are constantly under public scrutiny. A number of people in the spotlight have recently come forward about their struggles with anxiety disorder, with supermodel Gigi Hadid being the latest to talk candidly about this issue.

This year, Hadid walked the runway for Victoria’s Secret and won Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. Still, despite her good fortune in the world of fashion, she confessed recently that when anxiety attacks come on and she feels "almost suffocated by the world and the world's opinions."

Speaking at a women’s panel for Reebok last week, she said she sometimes has to sit herself down and say: “You are a good person. You go into everything you do with a good heart and with good intentions. And sometimes you have hard days, and sometimes people judge you for things that they're just guessing by seeing in a picture.”

She added, “You start to think that you’re supposed to be perfect in all of these moments.” Lena Dunham, who was also on the panel, agreed: “The ideal we've created is a 24-hour woman. The woman who can get up, do her job ... be a parent, look good doing it. The fact is, that’s too much pressure for anybody. There’s so much stigma for women around mental health care and around taking care of ourselves.” 

Hadid plans to take a brief hiatus from social media, which has often been the root of her anxiety. “I'm taking a month off, actually, during New Years. I'm not deleting my account. I'm just taking the apps off my phone. It's empowering, not just for people in the spotlight, for everyone … If you're going to be upset that I need to be human for a month, then maybe I don't want your follow anyway.” 

There have been several studies in recent years examining the connection between social media and mental health, and whether it could potentially lead to depression and anxiety. According to a report on Anxiety.org, social media is an “anxiety-provoking factor” in today’s world, with one factor being “compare-and-despair,” where you see someone else living a perfectly curated life that seems to pale in comparison to yours. 

Being on social media can also be an addiction in itself, with a 2012 study claiming that it’s “more addictive” than alcohol and cigarettes.

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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