Supermodel Bella Hadid is speaking out about how she regrets not being able to grow up in Muslim culture due to her parent’s divorce. Bella revealed that after her parents separated, her mom, Yolanda Hadid, cut her and her siblings out of their Palestinian family and moved to California.
Bella also shared that once in California, she had no one to guide her in the faith and was even bullied in school for her Arab heritage. She is set to debut in her first Hollywood project and spoke about how her new role in Hulu’s “Ramy” reignited her passion for embracing her culture and religion.
She mentioned that her friendship with actor Ramy Youssef was also a big help as she began exploring her culture and religion. Bella also spoke about her impostor syndrome and how she has always compared herself with her older sister, Gigi Hadid.
Read on to find out more.
Bella Hadid Wasn’t Able To Grow In The ‘Muslim Culture’
During a recent interview with GQ magazine, Bella opened up about how sad she is that she was denied the opportunity as a child to learn about the “Muslim culture” from her Palestinian father, Mohamed Hadid.
The supermodel explained that when her parents split, her mother “extracted” her and her siblings from the family, cutting them off and moving to California. At the time, she was only four years old, too young to retain any of the cultures she had already experienced.
She spoke to GQ about how she craved an opportunity to explore that side of her history and learn about her culture after moving to the West Coast. She said, “I was with my Palestinian side of the family in D.C. And I got extracted when we moved to California.”
She Got Bullied In School For Being Arab
Unfortunately, the move to California brought even more negatives. As she was often the only Arab girl at her school, Bella was regularly taunted and bullied by the other kids. She explained that she experienced racist bullying that always left her feeling “sad and lonely.”
She said, “For so long, I was missing that part of me, and it made me really, really sad and lonely. I would have loved to grow up and be with my dad every day and studying and really being able to practice, just in general being able to live in a Muslim culture, but I wasn’t given that.”
Her Acting Debut Reignited Her Desire For The Culture
25-year-old Bella is set to debut as an actress in the Hulu series “Ramy,” which she says reignited her desire to embrace her Arab heritage and the Islam religion. She shared one of her favorite moments from filming the series when the crew surprised her with a “Free Palestine” T-shirt.
She said. “I couldn’t handle my emotions. Growing up and being Arab, it was the first time that I’d ever been with like-minded people. I was able to see myself.” Bella also shared that her friendship with Ramy Youssef, the show’s star, helped her to explore her faith comfortably.
Bella Hadid Compares Herself With Her Older Sister Gigi Hadid
During the GQ interview, Bella also spoke about how the intense criticism of her looks over the years made her feel unworthy to work as a supermodel. She said, “I’ve had this impostor syndrome where people made me feel like I didn’t deserve any of this. People always have something to say, but what I have to say is, I’ve always been misunderstood in my industry and by the people around me.”
Bella also explained that growing up as the younger sister of Gigi Hadid didn’t help matters for her either, saying that she grew up comparing herself to her older sister. She said, “I was the uglier sister. I was the brunette. I wasn’t as cool as Gigi, not as outgoing. That’s really what people said about me. And unfortunately, when you get told things so many times, you do just believe it.”
While Bella stated that she spent her teenage years in Gigi’s shadow, she also explained that she had difficulty remembering the years before that stage of her life. She simply attributed it to “childhood trauma” and didn’t explain it any further.
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