Bella Hadid has long been candid about her mental health, and the 24-year-old opened up about struggles she’s faced once again in a recent video for Vogue. The segment features her looking back on some of her most famous outfits, during which Hadid shares her experience with the pressures she’s felt from her career.
The model begins by recalling how she felt in a red dress at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival when a photo of the memory appears on the screen. “So this is apparently a very iconic red dress moment,” she says of the Alexandre Vauthier garment. “I was nervous in this dress. I look very sexual. I was still nervous about cameras and nervous about having a lot of makeup on and nervous about this slit.”
Hadid goes on to note that she still has feelings of embarrassment over the dress because it marked a time in her life in which she explains that she didn’t feel totally true to herself. “It just, again, doesn’t feel so much like me and I think this was the start of ‘the Bella persona’ that everyone sees in me. That’s my alter ego. That’s Belinda. I’m just so the opposite of her. She’s very ‘va va voom.’ Bless her, love her. She was very nervous.”
Hadid continues to detail her mental health journey in an explanation of the following outfit of her the same year at the Fendi 90th Anniversary Show at Milan Fashion Week. “People used to make fun of me and say that I never smile,” she says of a photo from the runway. “It was just because I was in a really bad place physically and mentally.”
Though she does open up about her past struggles, the model goes on to share that, over time, she’s been able to find acceptance with herself. Of her 2018 Met Gala look, Hadid says, “This was one of my favorite Met Ball looks I ever did... Honestly, it was one of the first times I’ve felt really sexy and beautiful, and I felt like myself.” Hadid echoes a similar sentiment upon seeing the last outfit in the video.
“It makes me emotional because I’m so happy in this picture,” she says of the snapshot, which depicts her posing on a balcony in Cannes this year. “For the first time in my whole adult life, here I feel at ease. Happy. I’m able to work, I feel good about myself, I felt beautiful. Compared to the girl I see in the beginning — she was so sad. [The girl in this picture] is so content and happy and I love that. To see that progression, I feel blessed that I made it out alive of that mental state that I was in for so many years. It feels good.”
Hadid has been an outspoken proponent of the importance of mental health, and opened up about it on her personal Instagram account this past January when she revealed she had taken a break from the platform. “I took some time away to reflect and learn about myself in a way that would be too much to explain at the moment, but with time I will express,” she wrote in the caption. “I found myself, my strength and my light again. I am only here to be an instrument of peace and love to help people that suffer and hopefully the world, in time...”
She went on to encourage others to take care of themselves, explaining how crucial it is to prioritize wellbeing. “Take time to get help for your mental health. It’s worth it to get to your full potential.”