Bella Hadid got candid about being in abusive relationships that she said lacked the sexual, physical, and emotional boundaries needed to advocate for herself.
The supermodel opened up about her history during an appearance on the Victoria’s Secret podcast, VS Voices, speaking to adapting “people-pleasing” behaviors and the impact these relationships have had on 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,” Hadid said, per CNN. “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 explained that growing up in an environment where men’s voices were prioritized over hers may have contributed to the way she expressed herself in relationships as an adult.
“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. “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.”
In her romantic relationships, the model said, “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.”
A combination of therapy, meditation, and getting off of social media helped Bella cultivate a life that felt “true to me.”