Yolanda Hadid is proud of her daughters for how they’ve been able to deal with the “pressure” of life in the spotlight in the modern age of tabloids and social media.
The TV personality and former fashion model spoke with ET’s Rachel Smith on Monday, after appearing at an event hosted by Project Healthy Minds at Hudson Yards in New York City, in celebration of Mental Health Day.
With the subject of mental health at the forefront of the conversation, Yolanda, 58, opened up about how her experiences with fame and attention have been radically different from what her famous daughters — Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid — face on a daily basis.
“My modeling career 40 years ago, when I started, is very different than today,” Yolanda shared. “Because even when you’re famous, you know, I would go home at 5 o’clock and nobody would talk about me or look for me, you know what I mean?”
“It’s not the same for them. It’s 24/7 paparazzi outside,” she continued. “[And] the whole social media aspect of it puts a whole different [light] on it.”
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The proud mom praised her famous fashion model daughters for how they’ve managed to handle themselves, and explained that she’s done what she can to instill important values about respect and consideration.
“They are great at what they are doing. I’ve always taught them to be the hardest working person they can, and to be the first to show, the last one [to leave]. Be good to everybody on set. Not just the people that can, you know, make you bigger in the business, but to everybody,” she shared. “Be kind, because people don’t remember what you look like but they will remember how you make them feel.”
Yolanda explained that, even for her daughters, they are doing their best to just live life happily, and that the things they experience in life are “a little bit exaggerated” because of the realm in which they work, but they aren’t different when it comes to who they are as people.
Recently, Gigi made headlines when she called out Kanye “Ye” West after the rapper-turned-fashion designer insulted Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson.
Karefa-Johnson had criticized Kanye for wearing a “White Live Matter” shirt at a fashion show, so the controversial entertainer responded with personal attacks about Karefa-Johnson. Gigi shot back on Instagram calling him a “joke” and he responded by referring to her as a “privileged Karen.”
“She doesn’t speak out very often, but when she speaks she feels very righteous about it,” Yolanda said of her daughter’s outspoken defense of Karefa-Johnson. “That was somebody that he spoke about that she loves and has a 10-year friendship with, and someone she respects tremendously. It felt wrong, and she wanted to say something.”
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Ultimately, however, Yolanda said that she feels people have been using social media to harm one another mentally and emotionally, and it’s something that needs to be looked at and evaluated.
“For me, personally, you can say a lot of things about me, and they have been said, but when you talk about my mother skills or the way I raised my kids, I mean, nothing cuts deeper than that,” she said, referring to some of the trolling and hate she’s received online in the past. “And it’s not even the truth, but you are somehow being pounded every day, so you start to doubt yourself… these things cut really deep and they shouldn’t be happening.”
“I think that we’ve lost the art of communication about real things and we are living in this fantasy world of social media, where everything looks so perfect and then all the trolls come after you and they run you into the ground, and they switch to the next person,” she added. “It’s something that, as a society, we need to look at.”
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