If you’re like me, you have a perverted fascination with stalking models’ socials. The cult of personality which surrounds A-List celebrities is my guiltiest pleasure and perfect looking people who probably wouldn’t be considered famous a decade ago now sit at this activity’s helm.
With image-centric social media platforms like Instagram at our fingertips, the epidemic of comparing ourselves to others is worse than ever. And the accessibility of supermodels’ accounts certainly does not help this cause.
Especially in lockdown, I enjoy torturing myself by endlessly scrolling through feeds of pretty faces and bodies. Maybe it’s self-loathing, maybe it’s escapist-induced boredom. Regardless, whether subliminally or deliberately, comparing myself to the people I see on social media is an inevitable consequence of looking at these profiles.
It’s also hard to feel “pretty” knowing the human condition is crippling, and staring at my reflection all day at Zoom University has made me hyper-aware of my own flaws.
I recently decided to comfort myself and go down a rabbit hole of celebrity plastic surgery analyses on YouTube. My favorites are the ones on celebrities who’ve gradually accumulated minor procedures that go unnoticed until the final product.
Bella Hadid is one of them.
Hadid is the daughter of former supermodel Yolanda Hadid and sister to current supermodel, Gigi. Her brother, Anwar, also models. It’s a hot family all around. Her Palestinian-Dutch ancestry lends itself to many of her features. This includes her icy green eyes, severe cheekbones, and almost feline brow lines. These have earned her over 40 Vogue covers and 35.5 million Instagram followers.
But upon research, I found that Hadid has most definitely received help for her perfect appearance. If you look at pictures of her between her first few public appearances and now, the 24-year-old is unrecognizable.
I’m not against plastic surgery, but Hadid has denied having any procedures done. And while I’m not an expert and certainly can’t speak on decisions she’s made, I’m also not an idiot. Some of her features have literally changed shape.
Staying hush-hush on this kind of rumor is one thing if you’re not in a position of influence or in a field where your looks put money in the bank. Unfortunately for Hadid, both of these conditions apply, and publicly denying this past is just dishonest.
It’s dangerous to deny an accusation when it’s so obvious, and you know your leverage over those who idolize you. I fear that Hadid’s naive, young followers see her image and wonder what they can do to look like her, beating themselves up when they realize her flawlessness is almost unattainable.
The same goes for Hadid’s body. In the past, she’s bragged about a carb-heavy diet of pizza, grilled cheese, and burgers. But her aerodynamic figure and gaunt facial structure say otherwise. It’s physically impossible to be that curated in every way on a diet of grease.
That is, unless you take artificial measures to smooth everything out.
All I’m saying is that it’s easy to lose perspective on physical ideals when you’re down on yourself. Looking to people who can afford to get plastic surgery as points of comparison is toxic—especially those who appear to be untruthful about their situations, like Hadid.
I hope anyone struggling with their confidence finds solace and acceptance with their appearance. I also hope that society eventually stops praising people for exceeding arbitrary ideals that are no measure of value or worth.
But if all else fails, I hope you can afford procedures like the kind Hadid has had done, deny them, and live your best pizza and grilled cheese eating life.