Being called names for writing 'Free Palestine' on her hand as a teen, Bella Hadid reveals
For Dutch-Palestinian supermodel Bella Hadid, being vocal about the Palestinian cause has not been plain sailing.
Recently, the 25-year old model sat down for a conversation she has never had publicly before with Libyan-American journalist Noor Tagouri for her podcast Rep.
During the conversation, Hadid the daughter of Palestinian-American real-estate developer Mohammad Hadid and Dutch-born model Yolanda Hadid opened up about what she went through speaking up about Palestine while growing up.
The famous model who was often lauded for being one of the most outspoken celebrities in advocating for Palestinians shared that her attempt to be vocal about Palestine started in middle school.
“My intention is that my truth can possibly mirror somebody else's truth. That gives them the opportunity to look deeper within themselves.
“When I was 14, I wrote “Free Palestine” on my hand literally with flowers in paint and I was being called names and being immediately blasted as a person of hatred for other people.
“But I was talking about freeing my father’s people, my people who are deeply hurting at the moment. Not only that, we are witnessing their pain, we are witnessing it happen.
“Still, I can't speak about it? Okay. That was the start of me attempting to be vocal about the Palestinian cause,” she said.
Hadid admitted to have had an overwhelming anxiety of not saying the right thing and a lingering anxiety of feeling not good enough, whether or not she had said all of the right things or constantly do the right thing.
However, she said she knew that that was her truth and regardless which way she said it or how she put it, it was still going to be her truth.
“I have also realised that I have done my education enough. I know my family enough. I know my own history enough,” she said during in the interview at her New York apartment in the United States.
She also recalled being called a “terrorist” by the head of the football team at her school which made her lose confidence in herself.
“From that point, in the eighth grade and you’re just like, is it because of my dad’s name?, is it because of where my family comes from?, or is it because of me and the way I look?.
“At that point, you almost lose confidence in who you are. And you're like, "Oh well, maybe they are right,” she said.
Hadid said at that time she never understood why she was in such a position in her life and was trying to figure out where her place was in the world.
She said her friend’s parents had even told her the her father was a liar and that where he came from was fake and untrue.
Hadid also said these might be where her imposter syndrome came from.
She said she never knew who she really was until she reconnected with her Palestinian side of the family.
Despite all the things that she had went through, Hadid said she was not afraid when it comes to the Palestinian cause, even if she loses he modelling job.
“I have no fear when it comes to this. I really believe that what happens happens, and what is going to happen is bigger than me.
“If I lose every job, the reason why I did all of the work that I did was to get to this point,” she said.