Gigi Hadid won't be defined by her physical appearance.
The 22-year-old supermodel recently revealed she suffers from Hashimoto's disease, a thyroid condition Hadid says has contributed to her fluctuating weight over the past few years. Gigi posted a passionate message to critics who consider her "too skinny" on Twitter, urging others to "have more empathy" for those struggling privately.
E! News' Zuri Hall caught up with Gigi backstage at Anna Sui's New York Fashion Week presentation on Monday, where she explained why now was the right time to come forward with her experience.
"I think it's good to be honest," Bella Hadid's older sister told us exclusively. "I've talked about my experience with Hashimoto's but a lot of people can connect with it."
Gigi continued, "I've loved my body when I was just diagnosed and I loved [it] going through it and I love my body now... It's just about everyone accepting their body as it matures and knowing that it's not always going to look the same and you can love yourself in all different sizes."
In her original tweets, Hadid said she was not yet diagnosed with Hashimoto's when her modeling career began, and side effects such as "inflammation" and "water retention" caused some body shamers to call her "too big for the industry."
After receiving proper treatment for her symptoms, Hadid now feels "healthier internally" and admitted she is "still learning and growing with my body everyday, as everyone is."
She concluded in part, "I will not further explain the way my body looks, just as anyone, with a body type that doesn't suit [your] 'beauty' expectation, shouldn't have to."
Bravo, Gigi! Bravo.
Don't miss the rest of our exclusive interview with Gigi on E! News tomorrow at 7 and 11 p.m.