Bella Hadid was targeted by Olympian Meryl Davis on Twitter earlier this week, and on Friday, her mother, Yolanda Foster, spoke out.
Following Davis’ tweet, which suggested Bella Hadid wasn’t an athlete after the release of her Nike ad, the former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star fought back and defended the honor of her 20-year-old model daughter, who recently nabbed the title of brand ambassador for Nike.
Speaking to TMZ on November 18, Foster revealed Bella Hadid had Olympic dreams and competed in equestrian riding twice a week from the ages of 3 to 15. However, after being diagnosed with Lyme disease years ago, Hadid was forced to quit riding competitively. As the outlet explained, brain fog can be a symptom of Lyme disease and lead to slow reaction times, which would present an obvious danger to Bella Hadid.
Even so, Foster went on to point out that being an athlete isn’t required to wear the Nike brand.
“You obviously don’t have to be an athlete to wear or enjoy Nike wear,” she told TMZ.
Earlier this week, Olympic figure skater Meryl Davis, who some know as the Season 19 winner of Dancing with the Stars, trolled Bella Hadid after she scored a new deal as Nike’s brand ambassador. Meanwhile, she also trolled Kylie Jenner, who is currently working for Puma.
“I’ll take the one promoted by the athlete please,” Davis wrote in the caption of a photo of Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner, and gymnast Aly Raisman.
Since Bella Hadid’s deal with Nike was confirmed, the model has been targeted with allegations of having too thin of a body to promote the brand. As the Daily Mail revealed on November 18, Bella Hadid and Nike have both faced backlash due to ads which allegedly give girls “unrealistic expectations.”
After Bella Hadid announced her gig with Nike earlier this week, she was flooded with comments from fans who were not on board with the partnership.
“I love [Bella Hadid] but how is she modeling Nike? She’s look malnourished and unhealthy skinny. Nike is about muscle and fit just don’t see the correlation [sic],” one person wrote.
Others called for a boycott on the brand.
“Sport brands need to use an athletic bodied person to model. I’m not wearing Nike gear to get skinny, I’m wearing it to get in shape!” another posted.
“Worst candidate for a sport brand. [Bella Hadid] doesn’t even have an athletic body,” added a third.
Others appeared to be more concerned about the impact Bella Hadid’s ads would have on other women.
“Nike? She’s not an athlete but more importantly it’s giving young girls unrealistic expectations yet again.”
“This is why young girls get eating disorders, when being abnormally thin is glorified. Well done.”
As the comments flooded in, Bella Hadid’s upcoming gig with Victoria’s Secret was brought up and one particular Instagram user pointed out that she was lacking curves. While Bella Hadid’s body type is great for the runway, she didn’t see how it was going to work for a lingerie brand who has been outspoken about their desire to have women with curves walk in their holiday shows.
Bella Hadid is following in her sister’s footsteps when it comes to her upcoming role in the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. As fans of the brand, and of Gigi and Bella Hadid, will recall, Gigi walked in last year’s show and will also be walking in this year’s event. Also set to be involved in the event is Bella Hadid’s now-ex-boyfriend, The Weeknd, who is expected to perform during the show.
[Featured Image by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]