All supermodels have their signature expressions they’re known for. Tyra Banks and the “smize.” Christie Brinkley and that megawatt smile. And for Bella Hadid, her serious gaze has become one of her marked modeling characteristics — until now. In a new interview with InStyle, Hadid, 21, revealed that she’s into smiling now and it all has to do with the happy place she’s at in her life.
“Now, I smile so much more, because I’m so much more in my power and finally centered,” she told InStyle. “I’m such a people person, and I kind of lost that when I wasn’t feeling well, so now that I’m back working all the time, getting to do press like this is really fun. I love interacting with people. I’m figuring myself out along the way.”
She revealed that for years she opted to keep her expression stoic for a number of reasons, and one was because of her energy-zapping battle with Lyme disease. “I got really sick for a few years, so I kind of lost myself in that,” she said.
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But her non-smiling ways have always been something she was more comfortable with. “I was always really self-conscious of myself and I didn’t like my smile,” she said. “I thought I had a crooked smile my whole life. When I started modeling, it was such an intense force that I guess I just didn’t smile and I didn’t want to, and then it became a thing that I didn’t smile. I just wasn’t really feeling well and I didn’t like my smile.”
When she made her Victoria’s Secret debut in 2016, she was so out of practice smiling in front of cameras that she had to practice for the bubbly energy of the VS catwalk. “I am not a very good smiler on cue,” she told PEOPLE at the time. “I have to practice that a lot.”
And she wasn’t kidding: “I have to close my best friend and roommate’s door and put a big mirror in front of it so she can’t get out of her room so that I have a part of the apartment to walk and practice,” she explained. “It’s perfect for me, but she can’t really get out of her room.”