- Bella Hadid spoke about feeling pressure to project a “sexbot” image early in her modeling career.
- She told Vogue that, at 17, she believed it was the only thing people wanted from her.
- “Partying is not my thing,” she said, citing her social anxiety. “I don’t want to live in that box.”
Bella Hadid recently reflected on the pressure she felt to publicly project a sexual, wild image early in her modeling career.
In Vogue’s September cover story, published Thursday, the daughter of Palestinian real-estate developer Mohamed Hadid and Dutch supermodel Yolanda Hadid said she didn’t have a clear understanding of her identity when she began modeling at 17.
“It’s like there were two Bellas — me, this person in the process of figuring out who she was, and ‘Bella Hadid’ the alter ego, who was, I dunno, a sexbot who goes out every night?” she said.
Now 24 and one of the highest-paid, most in-demand models in high fashion, Bella said the picture she painted of herself was far from her reality.
“I have insane social anxiety! Partying is not my thing, but I felt enormous pressure to project that image because I assumed that’s all people wanted from me,” she said.
Bella added, “Now I don’t want to live in that box. I definitely feel like I’m allowed to speak.”
Bella previously opened up about experiencing panic attacks on a 2018 episode of Yolanda’s reality show “Making a Model.”
She said she found comparisons to her older sister Gigi Hadid, who is also a supermodel, particularly challenging because they have such different personalities. Bella described Gigi as “very bubbly” and “very 0ut-there,” while she’s “always very reserved.”
“I would literally start crying and shaking if I had to do interviews at red carpet events,” she said, adding, “It was really nerve-racking and it’s scary.”
The model said she would occasionally “blackout” while she was walking a runway. “I would come out and be like, ‘Oh well I guess it’s over,'” she recalled.
Her symptoms eventually alleviated as she began working more and interacting with people regularly, Bella said.
“You’re like, ‘OK, I guess it’s my job, I have to do it.'”
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