‘I Feel Empowered In Lingerie’: Victoria’s Secret Model Bella Hadid Explains Why She Came Back After Rebranding

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Bella Hadid talked about feeling “empowered in lingerie” now compared to before as she explained why she came back to Victoria’s Secret after the company’s rebranding.

“What magnetized me to coming back was them coming to me and really proving to me that, behind the scenes, Victoria’s Secret has changed so drastically,” the 25-year-old Victoria’s Secret model explained to Marie Claire in a piece published Thursday. (SLIDESHOW: These Women On Instagram Hate Wearing Clothes)

“There was a type of way that, I think, a lot of us women who used to work with Victoria’s Secret felt,” she added. “And now, six of the seven [VS] board members are all female. And there’s new photoshoot protocols that we have. So a lot has changed. [Joining the VS Collective] was really about taking my power back and having the power over my body be released to myself again.” (SLIDESHOW: 142 Times Josephine Skriver Barely Wore Anything)

“I think the beauty of what Victoria’s Secret is as a collective is about the conversation,” Hadid continued. “All of us together, Paloma [Elsesser], Adut [Akech], when we sit on set, we’re just grateful for how we feel supported now, instead of how we used to feel, when it was a lingerie company that used to be run by men for men…. I just look around [on set] and I feel empowered again. I feel empowered in lingerie, instead of feeling like my body is some sort of money maker.”

The supermodel explained coming back wasn’t easy and that it took her almost a year and a half before she would take a meeting with them.

“Even having that conversation was very complicated for me because of the way that I had felt in the past,” Bella shared.

The lingerie model said changes like putting new females on the board and the company’s embracing size-inclusive marketing and products made it easier. She also said it’s now in their contract they don’t have to show any part of their body they “don’t want to show” and don’t have to “do anything that” they “don’t want to do.”


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Hadid previously was with the company and walked in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show from 2016-2018. In 2020, she was one of several models who spoke out against the company’s former top executive, Ed Razek, and accused him of inappropriate conduct and harassment. He denied the accusations and stepped down from the L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret.

Since that time, the lingerie company decided to change its name and phase out its signature “Angels” marketing in place of ambassadors in order to reflect a “diverse experience.”