Bella Hadid is a supermodel who has appeared in advertisements for Bulgari and Fendi. Hadid wants to use her celebrity to “make the world a better place.” She has spoken about her mental health struggles, her Lyme disease experience, and the Palestinians’ status. Hadid wants to be an actress someday, but she struggles with memorizing lines.
Early Life and Family
Isabella Khair Hadid was born in Washington, D.C. on October 9, 1996. Mohamed Hadid, Hadid’s father, is an architect and real estate developer. Yolanda Hadid, her mother, is a former model who appeared on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Hadid has an older sister, Gigi, and a younger brother, Anwar, who are both models. In addition, Hadid has two older half-sisters, Alana and Marielle, from her father’s previous relationship.
Hadid’s mother left the Netherlands for the United States when she was 16 years old, and her father was a Palestinian refugee who came to the United States at a young age as well. “I am proud to be a Muslim,” says Hadid, who grew up celebrating Eid and Ramadan. “Once I got older, I was working and going to school, so I couldn’t fast for as long,” she admitted in 2017.
Hadid’s parents divorced in 2000. Her mother was married to music producer David Foster for a time during Hadid’s childhood, but the marriage ended as well.
“Growing up on a ranch in Santa Barbara, I would go to school during the day, then go straight to the barn and ride my horses, have dinner with my family every night at 6pm, do my homework, and go to sleep,” Hadid said in a 2017 interview. Hadid, a gifted equestrian, competed in weekend competitions from the age of three until she was fifteen.
Hadid began working at a juice bar when she was 14 years old to supplement her income. She began dying her naturally blonde hair at this age as well. The contrast in skin tones would help Hadid carve her own path as a model apart from her sister.
Hadid left California after high school to study photography at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Her sister Gigi was already a successful model at the time. Hadid began modeling and soon realized she was “learning more with photographers on set than I was in school.” She chose to drop out of school to pursue this career. She made her Tom Ford runway debut in 2015 during New York Fashion Week.
Hadid is proud that she achieved financial independence at the age of 18. She has appeared on many magazine covers and has endorsements from Bulgari, Fendi, and Dior Beauty.
Despite working in the same industry, Hadid and her sister have no sibling rivalry. “Most of the time our markets are completely different, and if we get booked on a job and she gets it or I get it, we’re both happy for each other,” Hadid told Harper’s Bazaar in 2017. In addition to Gigi and her mother, a former model, Hadid is friends with other supermodels such as Kendall Jenner.
After appearing in a Love magazine video in 2018, Hadid was chastised online for appearing too thin. She has also been accused of not smiling sufficiently. “When I started modeling, it was such an intense force that I guess I just didn’t smile and I didn’t want to, and then it became a thing that I didn’t smile,” Hadid told InStyle. She explained that when she first started modeling, she was embarrassed by her smile. There were also times when she didn’t feel well because of Lyme disease.
Hadid has had even more upsetting experiences during her modeling career. When an alleged stalker showed up outside her New York City apartment in 2018, she had to call the cops. Hadid was also reportedly subjected to objectifying comments about her body while working for Victoria’s Secret. Hadid revealed in 2019 that modeling lingerie for Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty line was “the first time on a runway that I felt really sexy,” adding, “I was doing other lingerie shows and I never felt powerful on a runway, like, in my underwear.”
In 2021, Hadid will return to Victoria’s Secret as part of the VS Collective. She stated that she made the decision because she believed the company was “moving forward with not only body diversity, but overall diversity of women.”
Hadid, along with her mother and brother, were diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012. Riding horses, a favorite pastime of Hadid’s, became more difficult due to her illness. Hadid has stated that her symptoms worsened when she reached the age of 18. She’s had headaches, brain fog, insomnia, anxiety, binge eating, and joint pain. She has also experienced extreme fatigue.
In 2016, Hadid said of her Lyme disease experience, “Life isn’t always what it looks like on the outside, and the hardest part of this journey is being judged by the way you look instead of the way you feel.”
Social Media and Activism
Hadid has expressed a desire to use her celebrity to help others. “I have so much responsibility to use my platform for good, especially as I get older,” she said in 2020.
Hadid and her sister Gigi took part in a protest against then-President Donald Trump’s travel ban and plans to build a border wall in January 2017. “My dad was a refugee when he first came to America,” she later explained, “so it’s actually very close to home for my sister and brother and me.”
In 2019, Hadid announced that she would pay to plant 600 trees to offset the carbon footprint of her air travel. When Israel launched rockets into Gaza in 2021, Hadid expressed her concern for Palestinians on social media.
In 2018, Hadid discussed her anxiety on her mother’s show, Making a Model with Yolanda Hadid. She revealed in 2019 that as an 18-year-old starting her modeling career, “I would cry every single morning, I would cry during my lunch breaks, I would cry before I slept” due to the demands of pleasing designers and photographers while working long hours.
Hadid once took a break from social media to focus on her own mental health. She was back on social media by November 2021, when she responded to Willow Smith’s Instagram post about insecurity. Hadid’s response showed her sobbing. “Self help and mental illness/chemical imbalance is not linear and it is almost like a flowing rollercoaster of obstacles… it has its ups and downs, and side to side,” she told her followers.
Hadid began dating musician The Weeknd in 2015 after he asked her to appear in artwork for his album Beauty Behind the Madness. They collaborated once more when Hadid appeared in the music video for “In the Night.” They split up in 2016 due to conflicting schedules, but reconnected romantically in 2018.
Hadid began dating art director Marc Kalman in 2020.