Skip To Content

    Bella Hadid Talked About Feeling Pressured To Project A Sexy Public Image At The Start Of Her Modeling Career

    "I assumed that's all people wanted from me."

    At 24 years old, Bella Hadid has been one of our generation's leading supermodels for more than a quarter of her life already.

    Bella Hadid is pictured on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021
    Samir Hussein / WireImage via Getty Images

    We've seen her as the face of fashion campaigns launched by some of the world's most prominent designers, on too many magazine covers and international runways to count, and on social media, where she has accumulated a huge following over the past decade.

    Bella Hadid is pictured wearing a face mask while walking outside in New York City in August 2021
    Gotham / GC Images via Getty Images

    Today, Bella uses social media as a platform to post a mix of professional and personal updates, and those of us who keep up with her accounts know the latter generally seem pretty candid and real.

    But, in a new interview with Vogue for its September cover story — which she shares with fellow supermodels Anok Yai, Ariel Nicholson, Kaia Gerber, Lourdes Leon, Precious Lee, Sherry Shi, and Yumi Nu — Bella said that it has taken time to develop her public image so that it aligns with who she really is.

    Bella Hadid is photographed wearing a beige blazer
    Francois Durand / Getty Images for Dior

    The celeb recalled the pressure she felt to present a different persona at the start of her modeling career. "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.

    Bella Hadid is photographed smiling on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021
    Samir Hussein / Samir Hussein / WireImage via Getty Images

    Bella explained that while she has "insane social anxiety" and partying isn't really her "thing," it seemed like expectations were asking her to act as if neither were true.

    Bella Hadid is pictured wearing a beige suit at the Dior dinner at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021
    Francois Durand / Getty Images for Dior

    "I felt enormous pressure to project that image because I assumed that's all people wanted from me," she explained.

    Bella said she's able to be more authentic now. "I don't want to live in that box," she added. "I definitely feel like I'm allowed to speak."

    Bella Hadid is pictured at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021
    Andreas Rentz / Getty Images

    You can read Bella's full Vogue interview here.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form