Almost overnight, Bella Hadid has gone from socialite and model to one of the biggest names in the fashion industry.
Gracing glossy magazine covers across the world, her influence has seen the 20-year-old amass over 14 million Instagram followers. These days, that’s the real indicator of influence, and Bella has it in spades.
“I love the people that follow me,” she told Elle Magazine, saying she prefers to think of them as “friends” rather than “fans.”
“I like to present the realest ‘me’ possible. If I’m working, I’ll post a photo of me working. But if I’m sitting home on a Saturday night watching TV and eating pizza, I’ll post that, too.”
Her unique looks and super-fit physique are the envy of women around the world, and her red carpet appearances make headline news wherever she goes.
September 2017 has seen her grace Harper’s Bazaar China, Elle Russia, Vogue China, Elle China, Vogue Australia and Vogue Spain.
“I think working this much is going to give me a better platform to do bigger things in the world,’ she told InStyle.
The platform she seeks is in part to raise awareness of issues that are close to her heart, telling Elle magazine: “It’s just devastating: you see completely emaciated children and I’m supposed to go eat these incredible dinners when there are children who don’t even have water. Those are the things I want to help with.”
It seems Bella was destined for the global stage. She got her break in the fashion world two years after her sister, fellow super model Gigi Hadid, had become a worldwide phenomenon.
It seems fame and fortune was always in her DNA. Her mother is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and former model Yolanda Hadid. Her father is millionaire real-estate developer Mohamed Hadid.
Although shielded from much of the furore that surrounds The Real Housewives franchise, Bella and Gigi were featured in the show from time to time, and interest in the pair was red hot from the beginning.
I feel uncomfortable, sometimes, smiling in front of the camera. It actually took me until probably this year to really understand my face.
Although she was raised among the fame and fortune of Hollywood, Bella says her parents worked hard for everything they have and guided her to live a productive life.
Her parents, she told The Guardian, “started from nothing and worked to give us the life that we have, and now I guess all we can try to do is repay them”.
Her mother’s notorious work ethic has rubbed off on both sisters. “My mom always said there’s prettier girls in the world, there’s harder working girls in the world … if you can’t be nice and work hard, somebody else will,” she said in the interview.
Although much has been made of Bella’s tendency to avoid smiling in photographs, she says this is not an indication of a bad attitude. Rather, she is surprisingly uncomfortable in front of a camera.
“People meet me sometimes and say: ‘You’re so different to what I expected.’ People always tell me I seem mean or intimidating on social media. But I really love engaging with new people,” she told The Guardian. “I feel uncomfortable, sometimes, smiling in front of the camera. It actually took me until probably this year to really understand my face.”
It has also taken her some time to understand and be comfortable with her role as a megastar, saying that in recent times she has started to take stock of the amount of personal information she shares with her adoring public who are eager for every morsel of information about her life.
“In the beginning, I was very trusting,” she said in the interview. “Now I have taken a step back. So, I post things that are personal, but not too personal, things that still have that kind of look into my life … but I guess I should hold off. I don’t know. It’s a very weird subject. You kind of feel it’s over-exposing sometimes. I guess there shouldn’t be that many people looking at one person constantly.”
Bella has alluded to a career in acting in her future, telling the UK’s Telegraph: “I’d love to start acting and have more of a voice in the world.” She said. “I need to start taking acting classes and figure out a way to memorise things better because I have a really bad brain.”