She’s yet to turn 21, but Bella Hadid has already accomplished more in a year than we have in our two (or three) decades. The supermodel launched a much-hyped clothing collaboration, announced her second-year stint as a Victoria’s Secret Angel and walked major international runways throughout Fashion Month—and it’s not even October. As we approach the last quarter of 2017, Bella keeps her momentum going by earning the coveted cover-girl spot for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. And the images aren’t the only thing people are buzzing about. Her super-candid interview—in which she addresses her newfound success and how her goals have changed since becoming a runway regular—is also gaining attention.
“It’s not very giving, being a model; it doesn’t warm your heart,” she reveals. “It’s not as rewarding for the soul as most things.” Not the most surprising admission, considering fashion’s oft-perceived superficial ways, so it’s no surprise Bella has a new ambition—that is, using her nearly 15-million-strong following and industry influence as a platform for good, with a pretty solid reason to boot. “If I can’t talk about something that I’m passionate about, why even be here? Why even do any of the stuff that I’m doing if I can’t make a better purpose for the world, or make a difference, or try to put light on a situation that is obviously so dark?” Bella adds.
The half-Palestinian beauty has already shared her voice on issues close to her and her family, including President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting immigrants from a number of Middle Eastern countries. Early this year, she and sister Gigi took to the New York City streets for the “No Ban, No Wall” protest. “I just wanted to stand up for what I felt was right,” she explains. Now Bella wants to take her actions further, using the publicity she attracts to propel her own opinions. (Models like Emily Ratajkowski have also used their digital pulpit to speak out against the current political climate.) “Since I was a kid, I’ve loved helping people,” Bella says. “My mom always said that I would go on the street and hug somebody that was sitting on the corner. It was just because I genuinely loved people, and that’s something that I want to bring forward with me in my career. If I’m able to change something in the world for the better then I’ll be ecstatic.”
Read the full cover story here.