Supermodel Bella Hadid says lacking boundaries “sexually, physically, emotionally” led to her being abused in a number of unhealthy relationships.
The 25-year-old star spoke candidly about her personal and professional struggles in her debut appearance on the Victoria’s Secret “VS Voices” podcast, saying learned toxic behaviors like “people-pleasing” ultimately had a negative impact on her relationships and her mental health.
“I constantly went back to men – and also, women – that had abused me, and that’s where the people-pleasing came in,” she told host Amanda de Cadenet last week.
“I started to not have boundaries, not only sexually, physically, emotionally, but then it went into my work space… I began to be a people-pleaser with my job and it was everyone else’s opinion of me that mattered except for my own, because I essentially was putting my worth into the hands of everyone else and that was the detriment of it,” she said.
During the wide-ranging interview, Hadid – who is the daughter of real estate developer Mohamed Hadid and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” alum Yolanda Hadid and sister of fellow model Gigi Hadid – also reflected on her challenging childhood.
“I always felt like my voice was never heard growing up, so that’s why I have a lot of complications. Now I’m able to open up and speak my mind, especially within my relationships and within my family,” she said, adding: “I grew up around men – whether that was in relationships or family or whatever that was – where I was constantly told that my voice was less important than their voice.”
Hadid, who previously dated Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd, revealed how her upbringing affected her adult relationships, saying: “My nervous system would crash. It was like fight or flight. Either I would become silent and cry and just go inward or I would lash out and leave.”
CNN has reached out to representatives of Yolanda and Mohamed Hadid for comment.
Hadid said it took a combination of therapy, meditation and staying off social media to start living a life that was “true to me.”
She previously opened up about her mental health in an Instagram post in November last year. Alongside a series of tearful selfies, she wrote: “I’ve had enough breakdowns and burnouts to know this: if you work hard enough on yourself, spending time alone to understand your traumas, triggers, joys, and routine, you will always be able to understand or learn more about your own pain and how to handle it.”