With dozens of magazine covers and jobs with high-fashion brands, such as Chanel, Balmain, and Dior (for which she is the face of), under her belt, Bella Hadid is undeniably at the top of the modeling world. But that doesn’t mean her life is perfect. In an interview with InStyle, the 21-year-old model opened up about suffering from a “serious depression” last year due to experiences with bullying.
Though Hadid receives criticism everyday on social media for personality or her face, she revealed that her depression came from bullying that she experienced when she was younger. And while she’s one of the top models in the fashion industry right now, Hadid also admitted that she isn’t immune to feeling self-conscious.
“We all have our stuff to overcome, and that’s what I want to preach to the kids these days,” Hadid said. “I went through a serious depression last year, and I think it stemmed from when I was younger and [being bullied by] the kids in school. And now, I guess I shouldn’t be as self-conscious—people tell me that every day—but it’s a personal thing. We all go through it because we’re human.”
However, facing online bullies doesn’t make her depression any easier. After years of taking negative comments on her Instagram personally, the model is now in a place where she can ignore her haters, though some comments still sting. “It’s taken me a long time to learn not to listen,” Hadid said. “I turn my phone off and remember that the people around me are the only ones whose opinions I really care about. Why would I read those comments? They are usually coming more for my character than for my face, which is more hurtful.”
Hadid explained that she learned to love herself after realizing that nothing she does will be able to get rid of her haters permanently. However, she doesn’t hold a grudge against those who hate on her. The younger sister revealed that she actually empathizes with her haters. She reasons that people who leave negative comments on her social media are struggling with something in their lives, which is why they lash out and why she feels for them.
“I’ve learned that people are going to hate you and there’s nothing you can do about it except be yourself and love yourself,” Hadid said. “But I feel people’s energy very intensely. Often I think, “I just want to meet you and tell you I’m not a bad person. You don’t have to be mean to me.”
She continued, ‘I want to write them, If you’re going through something, I want to be there for you.’ There’s obviously something deeper going on.”
With more than 18 million Instagram followers, it’s understandable that negative comments affect Hadid. But we’re glad that she made it through her depression to reach a happier and healthier place in her life. And we’re so pleased that she’s using her platform to call attention to bullying and how it needs to stop, both online and off.