Bella Hadid Gets Candid about Facing Mental and Physical Pain

Ask a group of girls what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll get a variety of

Bella Hadid

Ask a group of girls what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll get a variety of answers: doctor, veterinarian, astronaut, teacher – but most likely, at least one will say a model. Many boys dream of modeling too – because it seems like you get paid just for being beautiful. But the reality of being a model means years of hard work, dedication, and self-discipline – all while battling the every-day stresses that the rest of us deal with like depression and anxiety. Supermodel Bella Hadid recently opened up with the Wall-Street Journal in an interview about her morning routine, sharing what it’s like to rise as Bella. 

Bella Talks Mental Health and Opening Up on Social Media

Bella Hadid

So how does Bella Hadid start her day? The uncertainty of the pandemic and an honest battle with Lyme disease brought Hadid a realization about the sanctity of her body. Hadid tells WSJ, “I realize now that my body is a temple. And the routine that we have in the morning, especially Monday mornings, is…almost the most important thing because if you don’t start your week on a good note, it’s not going to be good for you.”

Hadid starts her day around 8, and this year she is resolved to go to the gym more to help her mental health. The supermodel eats a good breakfast with protein, including scrambled eggs, avocado and sometimes toast or a bagel. In the gym, Hadid loves boxing, rowing and Pilates – anything that feels light and fun. 

Around two years ago, Hadid stopped employing a personal stylist and she struggled with the adjustment period of putting together her own public face and then facing the world – and all the paparazzi attention waiting – in the midst of her mental health struggles. 

Instagram Vs Reality

Bella Hadid

In a way, losing the stylist forced Hadid to peel back the veneer of influencer and model life and come face to face with the person she wanted to portray to the world. After catching criticism for sharing an online selfie of herself crying, Hadid says the decision to share the pic was simple, explaining, “I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo. It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling. I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn’t know why. That was over the past three years.

[When I posted them] it was to make sure that anybody that was feeling that way knew it was OK to feel that way. Even though on Instagram things look so beautiful, at the end of the day, we are all cut from the same cloth. I felt like it was just good for me to be able to speak my truth and at some point I wasn’t able to post nice pretty pictures anymore. I was over it.”

Is it little wonder that someone whose professional life is so crafted and contrived yearns for authenticity? Hadid wants to show other people that they aren’t the only ones to struggle, and despite the criticism she may face, she’s here to be honest about every beautiful light and shadow in her life. 

Who is Bella Hadid, Really? 

Bella Hadid

Hadid is the daughter of real estate developer Mohamed Hadid and model Yolanda Hadid. Hadid has an older sister, Gigi, and a younger brother, Anwar. The family shot to international fame as Yolanda starred on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, with the kids occasionally appearing on the show as well. Well-Street Journal explains the roots of Hadid’s career; “Hadid began her modeling career in her late teens and within a few years became a feature on runways including Tom Ford, Chanel and Givenchy. She’s starred in numerous campaigns for brands such as Fendi and Nike and has collaborated with the American label Chrome Hearts to design clothing and accessories. She’s known for her street style and the way she’s reimagined and repopularized ’90s and early 2000s trends like low-rise jeans, rimless sunglasses and newsboy caps.”

Hadid will be joining Victoria Secret’s new collective, which replaces their famous VS Angels with a more inclusive and body-positive campaign. Hadid has been publicly battling Lyme disease for the past three years, a disease which can be caused by the infected bite of a tick and can cause joint pain, sleep disturbances, brain fog and other autoimmune symptoms. Part of her healing process has been sharing what she’s gone through.

Hadid adds, “I do have good days. Today is a good day. My brain fog is feeling better, I don’t feel depressed. I don’t have as much anxiety as I usually do. But tomorrow I could wake up and [be] the complete opposite. That’s why I get so overwhelmed. But that post made me less lonely because I had a lot of people that have reached out saying, ‘I feel that way too.’ Walking outside, being able to remember there are so many people going through things and have similar patterns to me, it makes me feel better.”