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Bella Hadid Opens Up About Being ‘Abused’ and Losing Boundaries in Past Relationships: I Never Felt ‘Heard’

Bella Hadid Opens Up About Being Abused and Losing Boundaries in Past Relationships Core x Let Love Rule
Bella Hadid  Michele Eve Sandberg/Shutterstock

Getting to the root. Bella Hadid opened up about being caught in a “cycle” of unhealthy relationships in both her professional and personal lives.

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During a recent interview on Victoria’s Secret’s “VS Voices” podcast, the 25-year-old model confessed that she “felt like [her] voice was never heard growing up,” which led to “complications” in daily life.

“Now I’m able to open up and speak my mind, especially within my relationships and within my family,” Hadid continued. “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.”

That dynamic continued to impact her personal relationships as she grew older. “Not having the boundaries of being able to stick up for myself and have my voice being heard affected me in my adult relationships very intensely,” she recalled. “My nervous system would crash. It was fight or flight. … That’s something I really had to work on, where I constantly went back to men – and also women – that had abused me, and that’s where the people-pleasing came in.”

Host Amanda de Cadenet called the need to “appease” others a “trauma response,” and Hadid agreed.

“I started not having boundaries — not only sexually, physically [and] emotionally, but then it went into my workspace,” the Parsons School of Design student continued. “I didn’t want to associate with any people. I didn’t want to have any friends, I didn’t want to have any family. So [in] my work, I became to be a people-pleaser with my job. 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. … Even though I know that this is not good for me.”

Hadid found herself in a “dark hole of autopilot” in her career. “I never was able to pat myself on the back and say, ‘Wow, you really did work hard,'” she said, noting that she “never even realized” how meaningful some of her accomplishments were.

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Mohamed Hadid and Yolanda Hadid‘s daughter felt like she was “missing everything important” and was “giving all that [she] had” to her work and to others.

“I was in this circle constantly of the same routine. … It sounds very cliché, but to not have the energy of everyone else and their projections being projected back onto you is one of the most powerful things of all time,” she added, explaining that staying off social media and going to therapy have helped her along her journey.

Bella Hadid Opens Up About Being Abused and Losing Boundaries in Past Relationships Core x Let Love Rule The Weeknd Manus x Machina
Bella Hadid and The Weeknd Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Bella didn’t specify which relationships in particular were the most taxing on her mental health. Before sparking her romance with current beau Marc Kalman, she dated The Weeknd on and off from 2015 to 2019.

The singer, 31, hired Bella to model for his breakout album Beauty Behind the Madness in April 2015, one month before Us Weekly confirmed their relationship. By November 2016, however, they’d called it quits.

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“They still have a great deal of love and respect for each other and will remain friends, but it has been too hard to coordinate their schedules with him finishing and promoting his upcoming album,” an insider shared at the time. “They really tried to make it work.”

Less than two years later — after The Weeknd’s brief romance with Selena Gomez — he and Bella gave their relationship another try. They split for good in August 2019.

“They’re still friends. He’s still close to the family and we don’t know what’s going to happen in 10 years from now,” Yolanda, 58, exclusively told Us of her daughter’s ex two months later. “Now everybody has to focus on their career and try to, you know, do what they have to do and everybody’s friends!”

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