Bella Hadid is getting real about what it was like growing up on the West Coast as a half-Palestinian girl.
In an explosive new interview, published Tuesday, August 16, the famous offspring reflected on her childhood, noting she was often the only Arab girl in her classes, which resulted in her regularly being subjected to racist bullying that left her feeling "sad and lonely."
"I was with my Palestinian side [of the family in D.C.]," the brunette beauty explained. "And I got extracted when we moved to California."
The supermodel spent the first four years of her life in Washington, D.C., where she grew up around relatives from her Palestinian side. But after Dutch-born model turned reality star Yolanda Hadid and Palestinian real estate developer Mohamed Hadid divorced, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star relocated to Santa Barbara, Calif., with the ex couple's children, Gigi , 27, Bella, 25, and Anwar, 23.
Bella admitted, "I would have loved to grow up and be with my dad every day and studying and really being able to practice, just in general being able to live in a Muslim culture, but I wasn't given that."
And while Bella has been very open about her Palestinian heritage, even taking part in a pro-Palestinian protest in New York City in May 2021, she revealed in the new interview that her acting debut in the Hulu series Ramy reignited her desire to embrace where she came from.
Reflecting on filming the series that follows a "first-generation American Muslim who is on a spiritual journey in his politically divided New Jersey neighborhood," Bella said she was brought to tears when the crew surprised her with a Free Palestine T-shirt, as being denied her heritage because of her parents' divorce deeply impacted her.
"I couldn't handle my emotions," she shared. "Growing up and being Arab, it was the first time that I'd ever been with like-minded people. I was able to see myself."
GQ conducted the interview with Bella.