Things are a bit quieter for Yolanda Hadid these days. Far away from the famous Beverly Hill zip code, Yolanda is now enjoying a peaceful life on the east coast; much different than the lifestyle that we have seen on RHOBH. We’ve got to know Yo as the glamorous ‘Dutch Martha Stewart’; however after a debilitating battle with Lyme followed by a divorce, Yolanda took some time off to focus on herself. Recently stepping back into the spotlight with Lifetime’s ‘Making a Model’Yolanda is opening up on surviving Lyme, her new show and finding love again.
Bravo fans and Instagram followers have watched Yolanda’s seven year struggle with Lyme, however when I spoke with her, the first thing I noticed was how great she sounded: “I’m feeling amazing – I’m on fire! It’s took me 7 years to get to this place. I pinch myself every morning and acknowledge that I’m having another good day. I’m up, I’m working and am coming back to life.” Coming back to life is right. For many years Yolanda detailed her frustrating journey with Lyme which ended up becoming a book titled ‘Believe Me.’ The book outlined the difficulty she had getting diagnosed, only to find that there was no cure for her disease:
“I didn’t write the book to get rewarded. I wrote the book as I felt that is was my obligation to the people that are living in the invisible illness community. Not just with Lyme but with any auto-immune disease or invisible illness. I felt that I really understood the higher purpose of my journey and that all of the hate and judgement wasn’t about me. I wanted to open up a space for the millions of people around the world that were going through the same thing I was and were getting judged every day. I knew that God had a plan for me and I was determined to turn my mess into a message.”
In her book, Yolanda outlines the roller coaster ride of Lyme treatments and ultimately using her journey to find what was most important to her in life:
“I found my strength in my children and in my spirituality. I started praying more and understanding what it really was that I needed. You really have to look inside and find what inspires you and gives you hope.”
After stepping away from RHOBH Yolanda ended up turning down various projects and offers in order to focus on herself. As her health started to improve, the stars seemed to align as she got a call to take part in ‘Making a Model’, a project that she felt she could really contribute to:
“Something intuitively just said ‘yes’. I went to the Lifetime office and it just felt right. I’ve been modeling since I was 16 or 17 and it has been my journey and my children’s journey. I wasn’t interested in just doing another modeling show, but I really felt I could bring something to the table as it also focused on the mother/daughter aspect of it.”
Yolanda states that it was this mother/daughter relationship that really intrigued her as it went a bit deeper than the average reality show:
“Your mother is always your biggest fan and will love you unconditionally. At the same time it’s important for mothers to learn to step back and allow the next generation to shine in a way that is authentic to them.”
“I also felt it was important to show the love for a dream and learning about what it takes to be in this business: the judgement, the challenges and insecurities. It focuses a lot on the mother/daughter relationship and how to be supportive without controlling the child.”
When speaking about the challenges and judgement that come with the modeling world, it’s hard not to take a look at our current climate and the women’s movement. Being an industry focused on one’s outward appearance, I couldn’t resist asking Yolanda on her thoughts on the ‘Times Up’ movement and how she feels it will impact the modeling industry:
“A lot of the industry is based on beauty and it’s a very important time for women to step into their power and establish boundaries. No woman should be put into an uncomfortable position to get somewhere.”
It seems as if Yolanda is a woman who practices what she preaches as she truly has stepped into her own power. Trusting her instincts, Yolanda knew when it was time to leave California to move back out east and focus on what motivates her most: “This opportunity came and I knew it was the right time to move. I was ready to get out of LA. I didn’t feel inspired or motivated to live that lifestyle and I wanted to find a space that was authentic to me.”
Moving back out east has allowed Yolanda to return to her Dutch roots as she focuses on her farm, family and animals. Her current lifestyle is far cry from what we’ve seen in the over the top world of Beverly Hills; however with endings come new beginnings. In addition to moving out east, Yolanda has other changes in her life, including falling in love. Despite the public’s interest, Yolanda has decided to keep her new romance away from the spotlight for the time being:
“I’m going to keep my relationship very private at this time. It’s a beautiful time for me and it’s great to feel in love again. I took a few years to heal and understand my journey. I’m grateful I took that time to really heal myself and have a clear understand of what I’m looking for.”
From what we have seen with Yolanda I have no doubt she will continue on her journey with an open heart, focusing on what inspires her.
You can watch Making a Model on Lifetime, Thursdays at 10/9c
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