Last week, as Gigi Hadid was leaving a fashion show, a strange man picked her up in the street. She defended herself by putting her well-tuned boxing skills to use, ensuring he “ran quick.”
In today’s Lenny Letter, Gigi addressed the attack, describing to Lena Dunham what was going through her head when a stranger put his hands on her.
She says, “I remember taking the time, as it all felt slo-mo, to look at him, a stranger, and my first reaction was: ‘Get me out of this situation.’” She reveals she, fortunately, has never been in a situation where she had to fight back before, but “it just came out when he grabbed me — it wasn’t a choice. I do have that fighter in me.”
The supermodel says that her defense didn’t feel heroic in the moment, but she wants people, especially women, to know they have every right in the world to defend themselves. She says:
Honestly, I felt I was in danger, and I had every right to react the way I did. If anything, I want girls to see the video and know that they have the right to fight back, too, if put in a similar situation. Practicing self-defense is important so that when you’re in the moment, reacting from muscle memory comes more naturally to you than freezing up. Confidence in your own ability to defend yourself comes with educating yourself about it, and is a massive advantage when in an unsafe situation.
You can read Gigi’s complete statement on Lenny Letter.