Bella Hadid is opening up about how she “became a good actress” when it came to concealing insecurities and challenges, saying she “put on a very smiley face” while dealing with anxiety and depression.
The supermodel and fashion icon graced the April cover of Vogue with a lengthy profile published Tuesday, opening up about societal pressures and dealing with her mental health over the years. She also spoke on her fellow fashion-forward sister Gigi, and how people would say Bella wasn’t as attractive.
“I was the uglier sister. I was the brunette. I wasn’t as cool as Gigi, not as outgoing,” she said. “That’s really what people said about me. And unfortunately when you get told things so many times, you do just believe it. I always ask myself, how did a girl with incredible insecurities, anxiety, depression, body-image issues, eating issues, who hates to be touched, who has intense social anxiety—what was I doing getting into this business? But over the years I became a good actress. I put on a very smiley face, or a very strong face. I always felt like I had something to prove. People can say anything about how I look, about how I talk, about how I act. But in seven years I never missed a job, canceled a job, was late to a job. No one can ever say that I don’t work my ass off.”
Hadid touched on regretting her choice to get a nose job at age 14, revealing she wishes she “kept the nose of my ancestors” and that she now believes she “would have grown into it.” She said she’s had no other plastic surgery work, regardless of rumors. “People think I fully fucked with my face because of one picture of me as a teenager looking puffy,” Hadid said. “I’m pretty sure you don’t look the same now as you did at 13, right?”
Throughout the conversation, Hadid elaborated on her mental health and depression, months after she posted a string of vulnerable crying selfies telling her fans to “please remember” that “social media is not real.” To Vogue, she explained what it felt like to go through those emotions for three years while working.
“I would wake up every morning hysterical, in tears, alone,” she said. “I wouldn’t show anybody that. I would go to work, cry at lunch in my little greenroom, finish my day, go to whatever random little hotel I was in for the night, cry again, wake up in the morning, and do the same thing.”
As far as struggles with anorexia in high school and relying on a “calorie-counting app,” Hadid said she now “can barely look in the mirror to this day because of that period in my life.” She now makes efforts to not let her fast-paced career “break” her.
“To have to wake up every morning with this brain—it’s not cute,” she said. “So now everything that I do in my personal life is literally to make sure that my mental state stays above water. Fashion can make you or break you. And if it makes you, you have to make a conscious effort every day for it not to break you. There’s always a bit of grief in love.”