Yolanda Hadid Joked About Controlling Her Daughters' Eating, Now Gigi Hadid Admits She's Been 'Hard On My Body'

She was forbidden birthday cake at her own party.

Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Yolanda Hadid @gigihadid / @yolanda.hadid / Instagram

Gigi Hadid is getting real about her body image issues. The 27-year-old model opened up about how she viewed her body growing up in the modeling industry, and it was not always in a positive light. 

Gigi's fans have long criticized her mother, Yolanda Hadid, for potentially contributing to her kids' negative body image. In the past year, Yolanda has been called out numerous times over resurfaced clips from "The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills" which show her carefully monitoring and restricting her children’s diets.


The mother of three may not have realized it at the time, but her comments about her daughters’ bodies and their eating habits have stuck with them well into their adulthoods. 

RELATED: 7 Times Yolanda Hadid Was Labeled A ‘Toxic Parent’ Because Of How She Treats Gigi & Bella Hadid

Gigi Hadid believes that she was ‘harder’ on her body than she should have been. 

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper, Gigi, who has been modeling since she was two, revealed that she faced an enormous amount of pressure to alter her already healthy figure after her modeling career took off after high school. 


While studying criminal psychology in New York, she caught the attention of big-name brands who wanted her to walk along the catwalk demonstrating their latest designs. While the opportunities were thrilling for Gigi, they also came packaged with strict beauty standards she found it difficult to fit into. 

“When I started out I was a heavily trained volleyball player and I had a certain body type from that. At that time fashion hadn’t started to get into a more inclusive body-image conversation,” Gigi says. “I was probably harder on my body than I should have been. I wasn’t starving myself but I was very routined.” 

Since then, the model shares that she has made peace with her body and credits it for all it has done throughout the years, without obsessing over it. 

However, Gigi's honest admission about battling body image issues only raises more questions about Yolanda's influence and her refusal to take accountability for the harmful message she once promoted.


RELATED: Yolanda Hadid's Former Assistant Claims She Lied About Zayn Malik Hitting Her To Get Him Away From Gigi Hadid

Yolanda Hadid has even joked about restricting her daughter's diet. 

Yolanda Hadid, a Dutch-born former model, has been criticized for her remarks she has made regarding Gigi’s body on “The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills.” The mother appeared to frown upon Gigi playing volleyball and developing what she calls a “bulky” body type. 

Yolanda dubbed volleyball as being a “masculine” sport, while modeling was more “feminine” and the path she encouraged her daughter to follow so that her body would “develop more as a woman.” 

Yolanda instructed Gigi that she had to “make a choice” between modeling and playing volleyball. “[Volleyball players] their bodies are big and bulky and they eat like men,” she claims. “I wanted her [Gigi]  to develop as a woman.” 


Not only did Yolanda disapprove of her daughter’s preferred sport, but she also heavily monitored and restricted her diet. She claims that modeling agencies like girls who are “just a tad on the skinny side” and often forbid Gigi from eating sugary products and urged her to exercise six days a week. 

RELATED: Orthorexia: My Obsession With Eating Healthy Almost Killed Me

The mother was so strict with her daughter’s diet that she only allowed her to eat a sliver of cake at her birthday party. “To be on your best weight, you got to make the right choices,” she advised. 

Perhaps the most famous and controversial clip that landed Yolanda in hot water regarding her dietary restrictions that she enforced on her children was when she instructed Gigi to have a few almonds and “chew them well” after she called her mother complaining of feeling weak and light-headed after consuming only half an almond on that day.


The re-surfaced clip was widely shared on social media and the term “almond mom” was coined referring to mothers like Yolanda who restrict their children’s diets. 

Yolanda herself even joked about her comments in the clip with her own TikTok video, where she calls herself the “worst mom ever” while including various clips of her eating almonds out of a bowl. While the mother was able to poke fun at herself and find the humor in the situation, others were quick to point out the damage she was inflicting on her daughters’ self-esteem and body image. 



Mothers like Yolanda Hadid force their children to abide by toxic diet cultures and impose unrealistic body standards. 

The concern surrounding these “almond moms” is that they put too much focus on how much their children eat and how skinny they are. 


According to dietician Katherine Metzelaar, "The only thing that really matters to almond moms is getting and staying thin, so much so it inevitably overshadows accomplishments, accolades, basically everything in their lives." 

These cruel expectations can even lead to eating disorders in children as they struggle with what they are supposed to be eating and what they cannot, based on their parents’ advisories. 

Bella Hadid, Gigi’s younger sister, has opened up regarding her own eating disorder. 

In an interview with Vogue, the 26-year-old model revealed that she was prescribed Adderall by a psychiatrist when she was in high school to alleviate her inability to focus. Unfortunately, the drug comes with additional side effects including appetite suppression. This pushed her toward anorexia.


“I was on this calorie-counting app, which was like the devil to me,” Bella recalls. “I’d pack my little lunch with my three raspberries, my celery stick. I was just trying, I realize now, to feel in control of myself when I felt so out of control of everything else.” 

While Adderall could be the culprit for her restricted eating habits, one cannot help but wonder if her mother’s constant remarks about her sister’s body type and eating habits also contributed to her mixed feelings about food. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you are not alone. According to the ANAD (Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders), eating disorders affect 9 percent of the population worldwide, and 28.8 million Americans will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.

If you or a loved one are struggling with disordered eating, call or the National Eating Disorder Helpline’s toll-free phone number: 1-800-931-2237 or chat with them online


RELATED: The Scathing Email Yolanda Hadid Sent Daughter Bella After She Was Arrested For A DUI

Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.