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Yolanda Hadid: What I've Learnt As Gigi And Bella's Momager

From how to create the perfect Instagram to how to handle death trolls, the original Hadid model opens up.

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Yolanda Hadid is better versed than most when it comes to knowing what it takes to be a successful model. As the mother of two of fashion's most in-demand models, Bella and Gigi, she has a strong understanding of what the industry demands of its muses, and the pressures and challenges it places upon them.

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Hadid, who born in a small town in Holland, started her career as a model, eventually starring in US reality TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. This week, she will launch a modelling talent competition called Making a Model, in which six aspiring models and their mothers will be put through an eight-week training programme in New York to find out if they cut the mustard.

Here, Hadid talks to us about what's learnt from her own career and from watching her daughters become fashion stars. From how to handle death threats to how to create the perfect Instagram account, she opens up about fashion, confidence and maintaining a strong-mother daughter relationship.

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Model success is about owning who you are

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'Really it's about authenticity and being true to themselves. In this world, everyone compares themselves to one another and if they just look within themselves and love who they are, well that's really beautiful. That's the core of what I want – someone who embraces who they are.'

Always be nice everyone, even those you think don't matter

'It's like I say to my girls, 'There are a million beautiful girls out there who deserve the same success as you. So you need to be the hardest working model on set and be nice to everyone you meet.' I don't mean just the people you think might help your career, everyone – from the lighting technician to the assistants.'

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A make-up free Instagram goes a long way

'The mistake people make is that they're afraid to be seen without make-up or editing, but not having those things is real-life. Believe the authentic you will get people's attention. It was different when I was modelling; I'd come to all the big cities to show agents and casting directors my portfolio. Instagram offers global access and exposure.'

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When the trolls appear, go back to your roots

'The bad side to social media is that there's so much pressure, hate and judgment. These kids are being watched 24/7 under microscopes. There needs to more rules over the death threats and nastiness. No matter how strong your psyche is, that stuff will rock you. When the kids are upset, I take them back to the farm, connect them to the earth and remind them of who they are. When I see them riding horses and working on the vegetable patches, that's who they are and people don't know that person. You have to put a barrier up so that they can't penetrate through. It's something we need to pay more attention to.'

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Don't try and rush your career or do too much too young

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'Gigi always wanted to be a model so I groomed her in a playful way, dressed them up and did little campaigns with them. But I always said, that you can't model until you're 18. Gigi would fight with me over it and tell me that there were loads of 16-year-olds modelling and I would tell her, 'well that's too bad.' I've been there and I know what goes on. Now she's older, she thanks me for giving her the opportunity to be a kid – to run around the farm make-up-free for longer. Bella always wanted to be an equestrian, but she got Lyme Disease and had to quit riding. Instead, she went to study photography in New York and that's how she got into it. Now she loves what she does.'

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Your individuality is what will get you jobs

'They are two completely different people. I have three kids who are opposite human-beings. Sometimes, it makes me go 'wow.' They're unique and I want them to be the best that they can be. If someone wants an exotic look like Bella, then they won't want Gigi. It works.'

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Yolanda Hadid in New York in 1986
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Always speak out against sexual harassment

'The more power to everyone and there is power in our truth. I've always told the girls, when or if something like that happens, they you speak out straight away so we can resolve it. The world isn't perfect. Speak out and don't let it fester inside you.'

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Know that you have more power than ever to change the world

'It's amazing that models have such a huge platform; we used to be just pretty faces without opinions and that's changed. Now it's about what are you going to do with your platform? How can you change the world? You've been given this opportunity, so what good will do with it? Gigi and Bella aren't different to anyone else's daughters – being pretty doesn't you a ticket to having a perfect life. Fashion has its ups and downs.'

Making a Model with Yolanda Hadid premieres on Fashiontime on 8 February at 8pm.

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