The 21-year-old face of Dior opens up in a candid interview with her fellow-supermodel sister.
GIGI: Fans assume they know you because you’re in the public eye. But what is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
BELLA: That I never go a day without smiling. People always say I have the same facial expressions. But what they don’t realize is that for a long time I looked that way because photographers on set would direct me to look “bored” or “very nonchalant.” But it isn’t necessarily the way I really am. You’ve known me, of course, my whole life. And ever since I was a baby, I was always smiling.
GIGI: It’s funny how people think you’re not a smiler; I’ve seen the comments. But I don’t see you that way at all. I have my own vision of you as someone who is kind, friendly, and very gentle. Does the negativity on social media ever get to you?
BELLA: For a while I fought a lot of battles—with myself, with people online—and it brought me down. When people would say, “Oh, she’s so mean,” I wanted to say, “Maybe I’ve just had a bad day! Or maybe I’ve just been crying.” You never know what people are going through.
GIGI: People see a photo on Instagram and assume you are this one-sided person.
BELLA: They see such a small piece of our lives, like paparazzi photos of us leaving the house. You know how awkward that is? To walk out of your own home and have 40 people waiting outside. And then you need to smile at random strangers.
GIGI: And if you don’t, they’re like, “Oh, she looks like a bitch today.” In fact, though, you have more patience and compassion than anyone I know. I always see you stop for fans. And after a long day of work, you always remember everyone’s name, and you always give people hugs.
BELLA: That goes back to how we were raised. As you know, our mom always taught us that you should treat everyone the same, whether it’s the president or the person working under you. Everyone’s time is important. That’s why I always stop for fans. They could be at home with their families, but they’re not: They’re standing outside our hotel in the cold just to give us a hug. That means something!
GIGI: Another thing people don’t realize about you is that you’re a homebody.
BELLA: Totally! People think I’m such a party girl, but that’s a thing of the past. I can’t wait to just sit on the couch this weekend! Now that our careers have gotten to the heights that they have and our job is to be around people all day and go to parties, the last thing I want to do on a Saturday night is go out. I just want to be around people who love me. Like you and I play video games, watch movies, paint pottery—all the stupid shit we used to do back in our childhood before we became Gigi and Bella.
GIGI: What else do you do to stay centered?
BELLA: Before bed I love listening to meditation music. It helps me zone out and fall asleep. And in the morning I make it a point to keep my phone away from me for 30 minutes so my brain can start functioning before I get completely overwhelmed by the media. Sometimes I just want to be me for 30 minutes, not “Bella.”
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