Bella Hadid seemingly has it all: beauty, wealth, fame and a thriving modelling career that most recently saw her walk the runway for Alexandre Vauthier and Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris Couture Week. But the 23-year-old, who followed in the footsteps of older sister Gigi in landing her first professional job at 16, says she didn’t always love the way she looked.
In a candid new interview with Ben Reardon of LOVE Magazine, the supermodel admits that she would often hate seeing photos of herself, and felt ‘mortified’ when brands wanted to work with her.
Bella blames this early lack of self-confidence on having started out too early. “In my opinion I started modelling way too young,” she says. “I was still growing and my confidence wasn’t fully matured. I didn’t love myself, or didn’t necessarily think I was worthy of all of the recognition I was getting.”
Bella, who is the second daughter of Real Housewife Yolanda Hadid and real-estate developer Mohamed Hadid, grew up in Los Angeles and was a keen equestrian until a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease blighted her Olympic dreams. Modelling was a fallback career, one that proved so successful, she dropped out of school to pursue it.
As a result, she received an informal education from the people she met through her work, developing a strong work ethic, checking her ego and working as a team. “Being a model is about being a team, working together and being creative,” she says. “If I don’t go into a shoot every day and leave being incredibly proud of the work we made then it doesn’t seem like a successful shoot to me.”
She adds that most people’s perception of what a fashion shoot is like is wrong. “It’s intense, really fast-paced, then really slow,” she says. “One thing is always the same: everyone is equally important on set. Everyone is there for the same reason, to work hard and make art.”