Warning: This article contains discussion of disordered eating.
Gigi Hadid has admitted to being a “nepo baby” in a new interview, during which the model opened up about the immense privilege she was afforded by her parents, while touching on the pressures she felt when she was younger, especially when it came to her body.
Hadid, who, alongside her younger sister, Bella, is one of the world’s top supermodels working today, told Times of London, “Technically I’m a nepotism baby.” Though Hadid added her “parents came from very little,” that had changed by the time she was born: Hadid is the daughter of immigrants, her mother is Dutch model Yolanda Hadid and her father is Palestinian-born property developer Mohamed Hadid.
“I’ve always acknowledged that I come from privilege,” Hadid added, noting that her parents always made her aware of her step up in life and to never treat people differently because of it.
“My parents told me, ‘Just because you have parents who were successful, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t walk into the job being as nice and as hard-working as you can be,’” she explained.
Hadid, who has a nepo baby of her own now: a child with musician Zayn Malik, went on to say, “I don’t think I’m the prettiest person in the world.”
The term “nepo baby” refers to celebrity children who’ve gotten a leg up in the entertainment industry because of their famous parents: Hadid having a supermodel mother and rich father, Dakota Johnson’s mom being actress Melanie Griffith, etc. The phrase went viral when someone tweeted that they’d just discovered Maude Apatow on Euphoria was a nepo baby — born to Judd Apatow and Lesley Mann — and later, served as the inspiration behind New York magazine’s viral “Year of the Nepo Baby” cover story.
Elsewhere in Hadid’s interview, she spoke about having a bad relationship with her body growing up, something that has been discussed on social media following people finding old clips of her mom, Yolanda, enforcing strict rules around food: once she told Hadid off for eating a slice of her birthday cake and famously told her, when she called saying she felt faint on set, to “eat an almond.”
Hadid says she was “very routined” with her diet when she was starting out in the industry. “I was probably harder on my body than I should have been,” she explained. “I wasn’t starving myself but I was very routined.”
Thankfully, she’s come out the other side. “Since then I’ve got into this idea of body neutrality. I love my body for what it has done but I’m not obsessed with it.”