In a newly published interview as Vogue's April 2022 cover star, the 25-year-old runway pro covered almost every topic on fans' minds, addressing her past anorexia among other health struggles, being measured up against sister Gigi Hadid and those plastic surgery rumors.
For starters, according to Vogue, she had a nose job when she was 14 years old. “I wish I had kept the nose of my ancestors,” Bella admitted to the magazine. “I think I would have grown into it.”
However, claims of lip filler or an eye lift? “People think I fully f**ked with my face because of one picture of me as a teenager looking puffy. I’m pretty sure you don’t look the same now as you did at 13, right?" she said. "I have never used filler. Let’s just put an end to that. I have no issue with it, but it’s not for me. Whoever thinks I’ve gotten my eyes lifted or whatever it’s called—it’s face tape! The oldest trick in the book."
What she has had is imposter syndrome "where people made me feel like I didn’t deserve any of this," she said. "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.”
As the younger sister of fellow style maven Gigi Hadid, Bella has also had to deal with the devastating comparisons. “I was the uglier sister. I was the brunette. I wasn’t as cool as Gigi, not as outgoing,” she said. “That’s really what people said about me. And unfortunately when you get told things so many times, you do just believe it."
After nearly a decade in the industry, she's reached the highest echelon of the modeling industry all while also grappling with illnesses, among them Lyme disease, hypothyroidism and depression. As a teenager, she was prescribed Adderall to combat her struggles with focusing. However, with her appetite suppressed, it spurred an eating disorder.
“I was on this calorie-counting app, which was like the devil to me,” she recalled. “I’d pack my little lunch with my three raspberries, my celery stick. I was just trying, I realize now, to feel in control of myself when I felt so out of control of everything else.” She noted, "I can barely look in the mirror to this day because of that period in my life.”
More recently, in 2021, Bella sought treatment in Tennessee after "weeks of waking up in nearly suicidal despair," Vogue wrote.
“My immediate trauma response is people-pleasing,” she told the magazine. “It literally makes me sick to my stomach if I leave somewhere and someone is unhappy with me, so I always go above and beyond, but the issue with that is that I get home and I don’t have enough for myself. I became manic. I bleached my hair. I looked like a troll doll. Then I dyed it—it looked like a sunrise. That should have been the first sign.”
She later canceled her commitments and sat out fashion week in September 2021, calling her month off "really helpful." But when it comes to her work ethic, Bella stands firm.
"I always ask myself, how did a girl with incredible insecurities, anxiety, depression, body-image issues, eating issues, who hates to be touched, who has intense social anxiety -- what was I doing getting into this business? But over the years I became a good actress. I put on a very smiley face, or a very strong face. I always felt like I had something to prove," she said. "People can say anything about how I look, about how I talk, about how I act. But in seven years I never missed a job, canceled a job, was late to a job. No one can ever say that I don’t work my a** off.”
Vogue'sApril 2022 issue hits newsstands nationwide on March 29.