What you didn't know about Gigi and Bella Hadid

Supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid are the fashion industry's most talked-about duo. Everywhere they go, especially when they go together, a haute couture windstorm follows. Whether it's a Fashion Week, the Victoria's Secret catwalk, or being photographed in all the right Hollywood hot spots, these two models really know how to steal a scene. 

From their rocky relationships with high-profile music stars to their battles with serious health issues, there's more to these two sisters than catwalks and magazine covers. In fact, modeling wasn't even their first choice of careers. Find out which sister studied criminal psychology and which one had some trouble with the law. Who can throw a punch and who considered going for Olympic gold? From sports to food to squads and all those relentless body-shaming trolls, we'll sort out the rumors and dish out some fast facts about these beautiful ladies that you may not have known.

Their first names aren't even Gigi and Bella

Gigi's full name is Jelena Noura Hadid — Gigi for short. She turned 23 on April 23, 2016. Bella's official moniker is a little closer to her nickname: Isabella Khair Hadid. She celebratd her 21st birthday on Oct. 9, 2017. Their unique middle names are of Arabic descent. Noura means "light," and Khair translates to "excellent" or "benevolent."

The girls were born to Yolanda Hadid, of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame, and Mohamed Hadid, a renowned real estate developer based in California. Though their parents divorced in 2000, the sisters have maintained strong relationships with both parents and travel frequently from their home base in New York City to the West Coast.

Their heritage is mixed beautifully

Gigi and Bella's mother, Yolanda Hadid, is a native of the Netherlands. At age 16, she was discovered by the Eileen Ford of the Ford Modeling Agency and traveled the world as a successful model for more than 15 years.

Their father, Mohamed Hadid, is of Palestinian descent. According to Haute Living, he launched a luxury real estate business in the United States after turning a huge profit on a ritzy nightclub he opened in Greece and an international export company he founded that traded equipment between the United States and the Middle East. According to Fortune, Hadid has purchased Ritz-Carlton hotels in New York and Washington and once "beat out Donald Trump to purchase a prime site for a resort" in Aspen, Colo.

Helping refugees is personal

Just days before the 2018 New York Fashion Week, Gigi Hadid left the opulence of that scene far behind to visit Cox's Bazaar, in Bangladesh — the world's largest refugee camp. Gigi has been working on behalf of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and in that capacity, she posted a series of powerful photos from the camp to her social media and graced the cover of CR Fashion Book. As part of the project, Gigi also opened up about her father's traumatic experience as a refugee in the Middle East. 

"My dad was a Syrian refugee," she said (via the Daily Mail). "He was born in Nazareth, Palestine, and the week that his family was kicked out of their home, they moved to Syria. I think he was also about one week old. It's crazy to think about what our families did for us."

The supermodel did more than just pose for pictures. She also utilized her massive social media influence to dish out important information about the refugee crisis and UNICEF's work and to answer questions from followers.   

Bella had some trouble with the law

In July 2014, when Bella was just 17 years old, she was arrested for DUI. According to TMZ, the teen blew nearly double the legal California limit after running a stop sign on the Pacific Coast Highway. Not only was the DUI complicated by the fact that she was under 21 at the time, but also because she was reportedly operating a vehicle on a suspended license. Consequently, Bella's license was suspended, again, and she was sentenced to six months of probation.

Bella's mom, Yolanda Hadid, wrote about the incident in her Bravo TV blog, calling Bella's "reckless choice" so shocking and disappointing to me. I raised her as a single mom most of her life, so immediately I started to take it personally, blaming myself and doubting my parenting skills." In addition to her court-ordered punishments, Yolanda said she took Bella's phone away, sold her car and made her pay her own legal expenses from her savings.  

Modeling wasn't their first choice of careers

Before Gigi and Bella Hadid became supermodels, they each had their eyes on different career paths. 

Before focusing full-time on modeling, Gigi moved from California to New York to attend The New School and pursue a degree in criminal psychology. "Although I'm so intrigued by that field of work, I think that if I would have had a career in that I would've still ended up working in something creative instead," the model revealed on her Instagram Stories (via Harper's Bazaar). "Even after I'm done modeling I think I'll always be a part of a creative process somehow."

Bella went to college intent on studying photography but dropped out after signing with IMG Models. "I started modeling and was working almost every day, learning more with photographers on set than I was in school," she told Glamour.

Gigi has Hashimoto's Disease

It's impossible to make everyone happy, even if you're a supermodel. Unfortunately, Gigi Hadid has been on the receiving end of flak from body shamers for being "too fat" or "too thin" — and not just from internet trolls.

When Gigi's career first started taking off, her athletic figure caused a stir in an industry where thin has always been in. In fact, her buff body type almost ruined her chances of becoming the face of Tommy Hilfiger. "Our casting director said, 'She doesn't really fit because you know she's not quite as tall as the other girls, she's not quite as thin,'" Hilfiger revealed to Yahoo Style. That criticism led to the model wearing a poncho down the runway. 

In the years since, Gigi has shed some pounds, prompting shade from those who now say she's "too thin." In February 2018, Gigi clapped back at her haters and revealed that she suffers from an autoimmune disease that affects her weight. "When I started @ 17 I was not yet diagnosed w/Hashimoto's disease; those of u who called me 'too big for the industry' were seeing inflammation & water retention due to that," Gigi tweeted. After her diagnosis, Gigi told Harper's Bazaar that she realized she "needed to eat healthy and work out." She added, "I loved my body then, and I love my body now."

Bella has Lyme disease

Gigi isn't the only one in the family battling a difficult diagnosis. In 2017, Gigi and Bella's mother, Yolanda Hadid, appeared on Good Morning America to promote her book Believe Me, which details her battle with Lyme disease. Yolanda revealed that not only does she have the "invisible disease," but so do children Bella and Anwar Hadid.

Bella opened up about her own struggles with the disease to Glamour. "It starts with brain fog; for a while I couldn't put sentences together. I'm really tired a lot," she said. "A few weeks ago I had a big campaign shoot that I had to reschedule. It's hard, but I push through, because at the end of the day, if you're not working, somebody else is."

Gigi began modeling as a toddler

Gigi Hadid landed her first modeling gig when she was just 2 years old after being discovered by Guess brand's Paul Marciano. Since turning 18, Gigi has been named a top model for Sports Illustrated and walked catwalks for Fashion Weeks all over the world. In 2015, she was named the new face of Maybelline, and received the model of the year award at the Daily Front Row Fashion Awards in Los Angeles. In 2016, Gigi earned her Angel wings in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and also co-launched a clothing line with Tommy Hilfiger called TommyXGigi.

Her clothing line's inaugural show was a hit, proving that Gigi is clearly diving into the nuts and bolts of the fashion industry and positioning herself for longevity in the business. "I worked a lot with the textures first before we started getting into shapes because I wanted the clothes to feel good. I wanted the sweaters to be soft, and the coats to be a good thickness, and all of the little things ... picking the buttons and putting the patches in the right places and fitting the clothes the way I wanted them to fit," she told Harper's Bazaar. "I hope that people will feel the time we put into it when they put on the clothes because the quality was really important to us."

Did Bella have plastic surgery?

As a model, Bella Hadid's body is constantly on display, leaving her wide open for criticism. Bella has also fallen prey to trolls criticizing her weight, and she's been subjected to rumors about her facial features that suggest she's had secret plastic surgery.

"Bella's face looks much different than it did two years ago," NYC Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman (who has not treated Bella) reportedly told gossip site Radar Online. "Her face had a round appearance and now appears more chiseled," he said, noting that could also be due to natural maturing and weight loss.

Bella has vehemently denied undergoing any type of cosmetic surgery. "People think I got all this surgery or did this or that," she told InStyle in May 2018. "And you know what? We can do a scan of my face, darling. I'm scared of putting fillers into my lips. I wouldn't want to mess up my face."

Bella's Olympic aspirations

In early 2016, Bella Hadid was reportedly training to compete on the U.S. equestrian team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. In a blog penned by her mother, Yolanda Hadid said Bella's dreams were derailed by her Lyme disease diagnosis. 

"Bella had to give up her lifelong dream of having a professional riding career and a shot at the Olympics due to her severe symptoms and inability to ride," said Yolanda. "This was the biggest heartbreak of her life and an extremely sensitive subject for her. She is resilient and focused on a new direction — she's made a name for herself in the modeling industry while she struggles with symptoms of chronic Lyme every day."

Gigi can throw a punch

While Bella Hadid is the accomplished equestrian, Gigi Hadid's got some serious boxing skills. "[It's] been great for me because it's, like, my new sport and it's something I can get better at," Gigi told Vogue. "When you're boxing, you get so into it mentally that you kind of forget what's going on. You forget that you're working out, so by the end of the hour I'm like, 'We're done?'"

Gigi's training paid off in 2016 when she elbowed a guy in the face who had grabbed her on the street following a fashion show in New York. "Honestly, I felt I was in danger, and I had every right to react the way I did," she said (via Page Six). "If anything, I want girls to see the video and know that they have the right to fight back, too, if put in a similar situation."  

Ironically, Gigi's love for sports nearly derailed her supermodel career. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she recalled a time when modeling took a back burner. "I went to Junior Olympic qualifiers for volleyball," she said. "So, I kind of stopped modeling. I just wanted to have a normal childhood and go to high school." Gigi said her mom wouldn't let her sign with an agency until she hit age 17. She eventually signed with IMG, and the rest is history in the making.

Gigi is a musical muse

Gigi Hadid has been in a lot — and we mean a lot — of music videos. She first appeared in ex-boyfriend Cody Simpson's "Surfboard" video, followed by his video for "Flower." She, of Taylor Swift's notorious squad, also appeared in the award-winning "Bad Blood" saga as "Slay-Z," and later, in Calvin Harris' "How Deep is Your Love." Gigi reportedly co-directed former flame Joe Jonas' DNCE video for "Cake by the Ocean," and she starred in on-again, off-again boyfriend Zayn Malik's "Pillowtalk" video, which is essentially three and a half minutes of making out on camera.

They share more than a friendship with the Jenner sisters

The Hadid sisters are loosely related to another famous family of women — the Jenner brood. Before Caitlyn Jenner transitioned from Bruce Jenner, she was married to Linda Thompson. After their divorce in 1985, they both remarried. Bruce married Kris Jenner and together they had daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Thompson married David Foster. Bruce and Kris eventually divorced, and so did Thompson and Foster. Foster remarried Gigi and Bella's mother, Yolanda Hadid, though that union eventually fizzled too. So, essentially, the girlfriends are sorta kinda, but not really, relatives.

Got it? Give yourself a hand. Still confused? Let Gigi explain it in this video

Bella and The Weeknd keep winding up together

Bella and R&B superstar The Weeknd (real name Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye) began dating in May 2015. According to Us Weekly, the duo met when he approached her about being a part of the artwork featured on his second album, Beauty Behind the Madness

"If I'd met someone two years ago, I probably would've f***ed it up," he told Rolling Stone, "But I'm more — how do I say it? — clear-thinking now." 

Bella shared her take in a 2016 Elle cover story. "I love seeing him happy and passionate about his art," she said. "Being able to see how he works, and put both of our workplaces together, turned out to be really beautiful."

However, their relationship has not been a smooth ride. A source told E! News the two took a break in 2015 due to busy schedules and they appeared to have an on-again, off-again relationship before officially ended things in November 2016. The Weeknd went on to date Selena Gomez for about ten months, but it seems he and Bella may be in an "on again" phase as of August 2018.

Zigi: the remix that just won't quit

Hey, recognize that handsome guy? That's Zayn Malik, formerly of One Direction. Gigi's had this one wrapped around her finger since around December 2015, and she isn't shy about discussing her on-again, off-again love affair with Malik. 

In an interview with the Evening Standard (via E! Online), she said, "For the first time, we are both in a relationship where we have very similar interests outside of work and that is really important. We cook a lot together, and do art together, and we're each others' best friends. We both feel we can talk about anything and learn a lot from one another." When asked what she loves most about her beau, she answered, "I would say his brain." 

Gigi also appeared in Malik's "Pillowtalk" video, but this coupling hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies. They broke up in March 2018, but a month later, paparazzi caught Malik leaving Gigi's apartment in the same clothes he wore there the night before. In June 2018, Gigi posted a photo to her Instagram Stories of the two cuddling, giving Zigi fans hope that this relationship may be on again.

They aren't the only head-turners in the family

Gigi and Bella's baby brother, Anwar Mohamed Hadid, is a model in his own right. At age 16, he graced the cover of Teen Vogue in 2016, and he already designs clothes.

The girls also have two older half-sisters, and five stepsisters. Half-sisters Marielle and Alana Hadid are instrumental in Gigi and Bella's lives, often attending red carpet events with them and showing up regularly on one another's social media accounts. Alana heads up her own business, Current Moji, and works as a fashion designer and personal shopper. According to the Independent, sister Marielle has "adopted a career out of the limelight and has only been pictured at select events supporting her family." Marielle reportedly has two children: Coco and Colton. Erin Foster and Sara Foster, two of Gigi and Bella's stepsisters, are also superstars — see a pattern with this family yet? Erin was an NBC sitcom writer for The New Normal and created the VH1 show Barely Famous with sister Sara. Sara also appeared on Entourage and 90210 and worked as a model.

In other words, this blended family knows its way around the entertainment industry.

Gigi is part of Taylor Swift's infamous girl squad

Though the notoriety of Taylor Swift's squad seems to be dwindling since the "Bad Blood" high-water mark, Gigi Hadid has remained one of Taylor's steadfast mates. Talking with the Evening Standard (via Us Weekly), Gigi said they both adore British guys (as if that wasn't already obvious) because of "the British sense of charm."

Gigi also said Swift has made a point to make time for their friendship, telling InStyle that the songstress is "really good at picking up calls and always helping out, so it's great." Gigi said they don't get together as much as they'd like, but make the most of spontaneous opportunities. "It always happens really, really last-minute, but I think that makes it fun because we all get a group text like, 'Hey! I'm in New York!' and then everyone's excited if you're there," she said. "It's really hard in our industry to make time, and so you [recognize] the people [who] are really making an effort."

They have a close relationship

Despite technically being in competition with one another, Gigi and Bella Hadid haven't let their modeling careers make them rivals. Instead, the sisters remain closer than ever — so close, in fact, that they even posed naked together for Vogue. "We've always been close," Bella told Glamour in 2016. "We have the same voice, the same mannerisms. Sometimes we'll finish each other's sentences, or we'll be the only people laughing."

If anything, it seems their joint modeling ventures have only brought them closer. The sisters told Vogue they often spend time together at Gigi's apartment in New York and enjoy working together. "To see your sister when you look across the room is just amazing, it's something that is very rare," Gigi told the mag. "All I do my entire life — the purpose — is just to watch over Bella. She makes me so proud and I would do anything for her." 

Bella is certainly appreciative of the support from her big sis. "It's very lonely, so to be able to call her and for her to understand what I'm going through and vice versa is so great," Bella said.