After years of using her platform to raise a voice for Palestine and even being “shadow-banned” by Instagram for it, Bella Hadid has opened up about the reasons that motivate her to do so. The part-Palestinian model recently sat down for a soul-searching conversation with Libyan-American journalist Noor Tagouri for her podcast Rep, where she delved into her aim and the consequences of being “vocal about the Palestinian cause”.
“My intention is that my truth can possibly mirror somebody else’s truth,” said the 25-year-old from her New York City apartment. “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 another people.” The model said that to her, it only meant speaking up for her “father’s people”, referring to Mohamed Hadid, who was born in Palestine. “We’re witnessing their pain, we’re witnessing it happen. Still, I can’t speak about it?” Hadid admitted feeling an “overwhelming anxiety of not saying the right thing”, but believes she has the right to stand by her convictions. “I have done my education enough. I know my family enough. I know my own history enough,” she said.
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The model went on to share a few instances in her childhood that had a lasting effect on her identity. Being told by her friend’s parents that her father was a liar, and being “called a terrorist by the head of the football team” led Hadid to almost lose confidence in herself. She also thinks it is where a lot of her imposter syndrome stems from. “I never knew who Bella actually was until I reconnected with my Palestinian side,” she said.
The interview also saw Hadid reveal that her advocacy cost her multiple job opportunities. “I really do believe that if I started speaking about Palestine, when I was 20, I wouldn’t have gotten the recognition and the respect that I have now,” she said. “I had so many companies stop working with me.” Despite it all, Hadid says she is unafraid and will continue to speak up for the larger cause. “I have no fear when it comes to this,” she said. “I really believe that it’s like 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.”