Gigi Hadid says she loves boxing because the people there don't overanalyze her body, and how she introduced sister Bella to the sport

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Accustomed to hearing opinions about her weight, Gigi Hadid relishes boxing with the guys at Gotham Gym, where her body isn’t the focus.

“When I walk in [to Gotham Gym], it’s like my big brothers. They don’t care about me as model or what my body looks like. They care that I give a good punch, and that’s how I want to be judged in my athletic space, because that’s what I find pride in,” she said during Reebok’s #NeverPerfect panel.

Lately, Hadid, 21, has dealt with criticism that she’s become too thin. But as she explained at the Reebok event, her weight shifted because of a thyroid issue.

“My metabolism actually changed like crazy this year. I have Hashimoto’s disease. It’s a thyroid disease, and it’s now been two years since taking the medication for it, so for the VS show I didn’t want to lose any more weight, I just want to have muscles in the right place, and if my butt can get a little perkier, then that’s good,” Hadid explained.

But just a year earlier, she was thought to be too heavy for the runway, and was put in a large poncho for a 2015 Tommy Hilfiger show. Hilfiger later explained that, “Our casting director said, ‘She doesn’t really fit because you know she’s not quite as tall as the other girls, she’s not quite as thin. So they put a red, white and blue poncho on her. It covered a lot of her body, unfortunately, but it received millions of hits.”

Gigi Hadid - Style
Credit: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic

But Hadid prefers to focus on her achievements in the ring. “That’s what makes me proud of myself. When I hear, ‘That’s a punch,’ I’m like, ‘Yeah!’ That’s what makes me feel cool.”

She’s even recruited little sister and fellow model Bella to join Gotham Gym.

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Credit: Courtesy Reebok

“I was always the athlete of the family. Bella is amazing and she just stared working out with Rob [Piela, Gigi’s trainer] before the VS show and Rob called me and was like, ‘Bella can give a good punch,’ ” Gigi says.

“I need to start working out with her. Bella was always so supportive of me, but she’s really getting into fitness now. It’s cool when she calls me and she’s like, ‘I get it. I was scared to go boxing and now I get it. I get why you go.’ “