Bella Hadid, the renowned Palestinian-American model, continues to make waves for her outspoken support of Palestine, even in the face of significant consequences. Her advocacy has resulted in brand partnerships ending and close friendships coming to an end. Hadid reflects on how her decision to speak up about her beliefs later in life has impacted her career and personal relationships.
In an interview on Noor Tagouri’s podcast, The Rep, Hadid underscored that she backs her statements with thorough research and knowledge. She acknowledged grappling with the anxiety of saying the right thing but stressed that her education, family history, and deep understanding of her roots should be sufficient.
She elaborated on the backlash she has faced, explaining that if she had started advocating for Palestine at a younger age, she likely wouldn’t have achieved the same recognition and respect she has today. Her outspokenness led to brands severing ties with her and friends distancing themselves from her.
The interview shed light on a particularly disturbing incident in which an ad was published to tarnish Hadid’s reputation. The New York Times ran a full-page ad, paid for by a right-wing American organization, that featured images of Bella, her sister Gigi, and popstar Dua Lipa, alongside an image of a rocket strike and incendiary text. The ad attempted to link the three women to terrorism, genocide, and antisemitism, a move that Hadid found deeply disappointing.
Hadid also addressed the double standards she faces when speaking about injustices worldwide. She noted that when she discusses the same issues happening elsewhere, it’s seen as honorable, but when it pertains to Palestine, she’s unfairly labeled.
Hadid revealed that she realized at a young age that people were often unreceptive to her advocacy for her Palestinian heritage. She recounted being called a “terrorist” in eighth grade, despite advocating for the freedom and well-being of her father’s people.
In a separate interview with GQ Magazine, Hadid delved into her childhood, emphasizing the sense of separation from her roots while growing up in Santa Barbara. She recalled feeling lonely due to being one of the few Arab girls in her class. Despite her mostly positive upbringing, she sensed that something essential was missing from her life, particularly the absence of being raised around Muslim people.
Bella Hadid expressed one of her deepest regrets, which is not growing up around her Muslim heritage, especially after her parents’ separation. She wishes she had the opportunity to immerse herself in that culture. Nonetheless, she remains committed to advocating for the elderly and children in Palestine, who continue to endure hardships.
A recent encounter in New York City with an Israeli woman prompted Hadid to embrace her voice even more. She welcomed a conversation with the woman, emphasizing the importance of dialogue and the shared goal of preserving lives and fostering understanding.