Why Yolanda Hadid Wouldn’t Let Gigi, Bella, and Anwar Model Before They Turned 18

“I didn’t want anybody judging them on what they looked like.”

Yolanda Foster

The Hadid siblings (Bella, Gigi, and Anwar) are busy taking the fashion industry by storm, but the members of the supermodel trio weren’t allowed to start their blossoming careers until each turned 18, per their mother (and former model herself) Yolanda Hadid.

Hadid’s stipulation for her children came out of a desire to protect them from an industry that is known to be harsh and unforgiving. “I never let them work before they were 18,” she recently told Elle{: rel=nofollow}. “I didn’t want anybody judging them on what they looked like. I wanted them to feel and be the authentic human beings that they are, and I think that created a lot of strength for them.”

And while that sentiment is both practical and empowering, it is not exactly true: Gigi modeled for Guess as early as 1997, when she was just 2 years old. However, she did take a hiatus from modeling while in school, returning to the industry in 2011 when she was—you guessed it—18.

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The former Real Housewife (who has a new show coming out on Lifetime, Model Moms) made a concerted effort to praise her children for how they treated others—not their external beauty. “I always said to them, ‘Listen, there are thousands of girls that are much more beautiful than you girls, but you have an extraordinary character, and you’re going to have to set yourself apart by being a role model, by showing up on time, and being kind to everybody…to the light people, the make-up, the cleaner in the back of the studio. Those are the people that you have to connect with, and that’s how you can make a difference in the world,'” Yolanda said.

And it appears that Yolanda’s efforts with her kids have paid off: Not only are her children at the top of their games professionally, but they also support one another unconditionally. In other words, they’re making their mama proud.

Related: Yolanda Foster Made an Instagram Account for Her Fridge

Mom Genes

Yolanda Foster, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid.

Photo courtesy of @yolandahfoster.

Jerry Hall and Georgia May Jagger.

Photo courtesy of @georgiamayjagger.

Christie Brinkley and her two daughters, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Lee Brinkley-Cook.

Photo courtesy of @alexarayjoel.

Amanda de Cadenet Taylor and Atlanta Taylor.

Photo courtesy of @amandadecadenet.

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Photo courtesy of @anna_vrc.

Cindy Crawford and Kaia Jordan Gerber.

Photo courtesy of @kaiagerber.

Kim Basinger and Ireland Baldwin.

Photo courtesy of @ireland.baldwin.

Patti Hansen and Alexandra Richards.

Photo courtesy of @officialalexandrarichards.

Yasmin Le Bon and Amber Le Bon.

Photo courtesy of @amberlebonofficial.

Kirsten Owen and Billie Rose.

Photo courtesy of @kirstenfloraowen.