Bella Hadid says she felt pressure to come off as a ‘sexbot’ early in her modeling career

Bella hadid
Bella Hadid is a supermodel. Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
  • 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.”
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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 Hadid is our hero.
Hadid is one of the highest-paid models in the world. Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

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.'”