What You Don't Know About Bella Hadid

The following references mental health struggles and anorexia.

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, Isabella "Bella" Khair Hadid went from being a "Real Housewives" cast member's daughter to a superstar model in her own right. With her edgy looks, signature smize, and tens of millions of Instagram followers, Hadid has taken over in a big way. Over the years, the model has walked hundreds of shows, and steadily improved under the guidance of her mother and sister. If Hadid's impressive portfolio and charisma aren't enough to make you a fan, her experimental street fashion certainly is. The "it" girl was named Model.com's Model Of The Year in 2016, and is frequently photographed out and about in Paris, New York, and Italy in the hottest trends. It's practically guaranteed that anything she wears will become the next new thing — even if it's old.

Needless to say, Hadid has achieved massive success. Her time as a Victoria's Secret Angel gave her unparalleled star power, and opened the doors for luxury brands such as Coperni, Ralph Lauren, and Marc Jacobs to solidify her supermodel status. Yet, despite frequently sharing glimpses of her glamorous life online, many fans yearn to know more about this gorgeous runway stomper. Without further ado, let's get into the untold truth of Bella Hadid.

Modeling runs in the Hadid family

Bella Hadid is the daughter of real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid and Dutch model Yolanda Hadid (née van den Herik). The middle of three children, Hadid grew up on a farm in Santa Barbara, California, and lived a pretty lavish life thanks to her famous parents. But even with their massive wealth, the Hadids had relatively normal upbringings — okay yes, "normal" belongs in scare quotes. As Bella shared on Instagram, her first high school job was at an açaí bowl place, and all three kids attended public school in Malibu. According to Bella's "Life In Looks" episode with Vogue, she and her siblings didn't wear designer clothes when they were growing up. 

All three Hadid kids went on to follow in their mother's modeling footsteps. Bella booked her first modeling gig for a commercial project with Flynn Skye, and later made her runway debut in Desigual. The rest, as they say, is history. Bella's older sister Gigi Hadid guided her through the industry and helped her improve her posing from the very start of her career. Gigi's only less than two years older than Bella, but rather than compete with one another, the sisters love each other and exist in harmony. "All I do my entire life — the purpose — is just to watch over Bella," Gigi told Vogue, as she started to tear up. "Sorry! I didn't mean to do this. She makes me so proud and I would do anything for her."

Bella Hadid is proud to be Palestinian and Muslim

Fashion, like most things, can certainly be political. With that being said, even though modeling's her full-time job, Bella Hadid is a determined activist and has consistently used her platform to speak up for her beliefs. Most notably, the model has been very vocal about her connection to her father's homeland, Palestine. Mohamed Hadid is a Palestinian refugee whose family escaped to Syria during the 1947-1949 Palestine war. Bella and her siblings were raised Muslim, and as the model shared on Instagram, she has fond memories of fasting with her father's side of the family for Ramadan. As she grew older, Hadid's love for her heritage only increased, and she began attending pro-Palestine rallies.

"It has always been #freepalestine. ALWAYS," she captioned an Instagram photo of her protesting in London."I stand with my Palestinian brothers and sisters, I will protect and support you as best as I can. I LOVE YOU. I feel for you. And I cry for you." Hadid has faced a significant amount of online backlash for advocating for Palestine. As outlets such as Dazed Digital noted, Israel's state Twitter account even accused her of antisemitism after she attended a protest. Nevertheless, Hadid continues to march. 

In 2022, Hadid opened up to Vogue about her heritage and how she regrets getting a nose job at 14. "I wish I had kept the nose of my ancestors," she told the publication. "I think I would have grown into it."

Bella Hadid has Lyme disease

When Bella Hadid was a teenager, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, a bacterial infection caused by deer ticks. The long list of symptoms  includes fatigue, brain fog, significant joint pain, and paralysis. Yolanda Hadid and Anwar Hadid were also diagnosed with the disease. As Yolanda shared in her Bravo blog, she and her children all found out they'd contracted Lyme around the same time. Though the disease isn't genetic, Yolanda suspects they all got it while the family was still living on a horse ranch.

Bella's struggle with Lyme disease deeply impacts her work and personal life on a regular basis. In 2020, she posted ailments affiliated with Lyme on Instagram Stories (via The Daily Dish) and shared, "Everyday I feel at least 10 of these attributes without fail." Some of the symptoms she highlighted include anxiety, thyroid issues, and inflammation. "I know what it feels like to not want to get out of bed from bone pains and exhaustion and days on end of not wanting to socialize or be around people because the anxiety and brain fog just isn't worth it," she said during her 2016 Global Lyme Alliance Gala acceptance speech. "After years of this, you begin to get used to living with the sickness, instead of getting cured and moving on with your life."

She's a natural blonde

It's hard to imagine Bella Hadid as anything other than an edgy, high fashion brunette. Her dark hair and light eyes are a striking combo, and they only add to her ethereal aura. Surprisingly though, she was born a natural blonde. As she told Teen Vogue, the model and activist started dyeing her hair to distinguish herself from Gigi Hadid, and has rarely gone back to her blonde roots since. Thanks to her daring switch, the sisters can model for completely different markets and Bella was able to rise from her sister's shadow, without competition.

"I just have a darker personality. And my sister being blonde and me being brunette, it's a good separation," Bella told Allure about the switch (via Insider). In the aforementioned Teen Vogue chat, Bella shared that her dark hair makes her feel like even more of a "black sheep" in her family. "[Gigi and I are] very similar — we even have the same voice — but my whole life, she's been the one with the good grades," Bella said of her older sibling. "She's beautiful, smart, and funny, and I've always been the one who kind of rebels. I just wanted to show people that we're different."

She's really into boxing

Bella Hadid's body has been a topic of conversation since she first entered the spotlight. The model told People in 2016, "My weight fluctuates and so does everybody's and I think that if people are gonna judge, that's the worst you can possibly do because everybody is different." She went on to say that tries to be mindful of what she eats, works out daily, and drinks plenty of water. In a 2022 Vogue cover story, she shared that she struggled with anorexia as a high schooler, but she's since developed a healthier mindset regarding diet, exercise, and body image.

As for what exactly she eats, Hadid doesn't seem to be too restrictive. On Instagram, you'll find snaps of her enjoying pasta and gelato, and we can't forget her ultimate favorite: pizza. "Right now my diet is pizza, so recently that's all I've been eating," she said to WWD in 2016. "I promise you, it's like every day. Or burgers, French fries, grilled cheeses." Of course, she also finds balance. As she told WSJ Magazine in 2022, she's all about smoothies and making sure she works protein into her daily diet.

For years, Hadid's opened up about her love of boxing as a workout, but that's not the only thing she's into when she hits the gym. As she said in WSJ Magazine, "I love boxing. I love rowing. I like anything that seems like an activity. I love Pilates, because I'm just swinging and jumping on things."

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Bella Hadid's relationship history

By now, we're sure you've heard of the fiery romance between Bella Hadid and Pop/R&B singer The Weeknd. Who could forget Hadid's iconic strut down the Victoria's Secret catwalk (in her underwear, at that!) as her ex performed "Starboy"? Hadid and The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, dated on and off from 2015 to 2019. As Tesfaye told Rolling Stone, they connected after he asked Hadid to model for the artwork of his album "Beauty Behind The Madness." When they met again at Coachella, they clicked instantly and were soon getting photographed hand-in-hand. Hadid would even go on to star in Tesfaye's "In The Night" music video, and their relationship inspired quite a few of The Weeknd's moody tunes.

In between their on-again, off-again relationship, The Weeknd dated Selena Gomez. In 2019, Hadid and Tesfaye called it quits for good due to scheduling conflicts.

As of this writing, Hadid is dating art director Marc Kalman. Kalman is known for his contributions on a number of high-profile fashion projects, including album art for Travis Scott. Since making it Instagram official in July 2021, the stylish new couple have been photographed all over the world in cute, coordinating outfits. Though not much is known about their relationship, the couple's similar aesthetics have garnered them tons of attention online. With style and NYC dates as enviable as theirs, it's easy to see why.

Bella Hadid's run-in with the law

Before Bella Hadid was an international supermodel, she was a (relatively) regular 17-year-old girl. Bella, like all teenagers, made some mistakes in her younger years, with her worst mistake actually landing her in some trouble with the law. As TMZ reported in 2014, Bella, who was not of legal drinking age at the time, was charged with a DUI. 

In a blog post for Bravo's website, mother Yolanda Hadid expressed her devastation regarding the arrest. "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. Where did I screw up?!" "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star shared that her own father was killed in a car accident when she was little, and knowing that her daughter could've hurt herself or someone else was all the more upsetting. Yolanda didn't take it easy on her daughter, and added some additional punishments on top of her mandated probation and community service. "I decided to take her phone away, make her pay for her own lawyer bills from her savings, and we sold her car," Yolanda shared.

Bella has since made significant life changes. In 2022, the model told InStyle that she's basically stopped drinking. "I loved alcohol and it got to the point where even I started to, you know, cancel nights out that I felt like I wouldn't be able to control myself," she said. 

She's a talented equestrian

As a child, Bella Hadid wanted to one day become a professional equestrian. As touched on before, Bella grew up on a horse farm in Santa Barbara, California, and spent most of her days in the stables. Bella, her mom, and her sister all rode horses, but only Bella had hopes of competing in the Olympics like her father. Unfortunately, with her Lyme disease diagnosis came symptoms that caused physical complications for the future model. She opened up about her Olympic fate at the 2016 Global Lyme Alliance Gala, telling the audience, "It was my dream of my life and what I did every single day until I just stopped and realized I didn't have the brain power to ride horses anymore, so that was the end of that." As her health deteriorated and her symptoms worsened, Bella was forced to put her riding career on the back burner. Her mother, Yolanda Hadid, announced the sad news in a Bravo blog post, writing, "This was the biggest heartbreak of her life and an extremely sensitive subject for her."

When her Olympic dreams ended, Bella found herself in NYC at Parsons School of Art & Design. There, she studied photography until her modeling career took off. Though she still deals with aggressive Lyme disease symptoms, Bella still loves horses and rides them recreationally from time to time. Bella is pictured above with her horse, Blue.

Bella Hadid struggles with her mental health

Bella Hadid really seems to have it all: she's wealthy, successful, and beautiful. However, just because she's had a career that most of the people on the planet could only dream of, that doesn't mean she's impervious to mental health struggles. Through thick and thin, she's shared it all with her fans.

In March 2022, Bella opened up to Vogue about her mental health and being compared to sister Gigi Hadid. "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 felt like I had something to prove." The model became an expert at putting on a brave face, and would go through bouts of depression and anxiety.

"I would wake up every morning hysterical, in tears, alone," she continued. "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." Eventually, Bella stopped glossing over her mental state and shared photos where she's crying and not wearing makeup. "Sometimes all you've gotta hear is that you're not alone," she wrote. "So from me to you, you're not alone. I love you, I see you, and I hear you."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

She has two older half-sisters

So far, we've touched on three of the Hadid siblings: Gigi, Bella and Anwar. But did you know that there are two other Hadid siblings on the dad's side of the family? Before marrying Yolanda van den Herik in 1994, Mohamed Hadid was married to Mary Butler. Together, they had two daughters: Bella's older half sisters, Alana and Marielle Hadid. This will come as no surprise, but Alana and Marielle are stunning, too.

A mom of two, Marielle Hadid is the oldest of the bunch. She runs a lifestyle website called "Living Well with Marielle" and has her own eyewear brand called Hadid Eyewear. Alana Hadid works as a fashion designer in New York City. The founder and creative director of La Detresse, Alana has also worked with the clothing brand Lou & Gray. And as noted by Refinery29, she also has experience as a personal shopper and stylist. 

While being the elder siblings to very famous models may sound like a recipe for tension, there's nothing but love among the Hadid kids. "I'm not in competition with my sisters or brother," Alana told Grazia. "We all have an innate work ethic and I feel successful — I do a lot of things people perhaps don't know about, as do my sisters. Famous is not being a success. We are really protective and supportive of each other."

She's said to be worth $25 Million

It's no secret that Bella Hadid grew up in a wealthy family. But despite their massive fortune, her parents did what they could to keep their kids in touch with reality. "But my parents are immigrants who came here and worked for everything they had," she told Vogue. "I always knew the value of a dollar." While one could say she and her siblings had a serious leg up, thanks to their parents' status as well as mom Yolanda Hadid's experience as a model, they weren't simply handed their careers. Yolanda told Fox News prides herself on knowing that both of her daughters have hustled hard to get where they are today. 

All that said, MoneyInc. reports that Bella first started making the big bucks — $8.5 Million in a year, to be exact — in 2018, four years after her modeling debut. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bella has amassed an impressive $25 million since entering the modeling industry, making her one of the highest-paid models on the planet. In 2022, L'Officiel USA named Bella the seventh-most paid model in the world, with an estimated $19 Million revenue each year. Her older sis Gigi Hadid is right above her on the list, at an estimated $20 million annually.

Bella's sure figured out ways to spend her cash. In 2019, for example, she bought a penthouse for $6.1 million and, according to the New York Post, she made a $500,000 profit when she sold it a few years later. 

Bella Hadid is 'dabbling in acting'

In a 2017 interview with WWD, Bella Hadid expressed interest in exploring another line of work. "Eventually, I'll hopefully start dabbling in acting. But I want to be able to give my full attention to one or the other," she said, before adding: "I think I want to be like a superhero." Well, everyone, it seems like the wait is over. As Variety reported in March 2022, Hadid's acting debut will arrive on Hulu's "Ramy."

Created by Ramy Youssef, "Ramy" is a coming-of-age show about a first-gen Egyptian-American, and how he navigates his faith, community and morals in the Western world. While she has small screen experience thanks to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," this is her first scripted role. Hadid is expected to appear on the show's third season. And no, Hadid did not have to audition for the part. She told GQ in August 2022 that she and Youssef connected after he reached out to her about the show, and then promptly became pals.

While they did not give too much away about Hadid's girlfriend character on "Ramy," Youssef teased, "It's probably one of the weirdest scripts we've ever written." We cannot wait.