Some people are just discovering Gigi Hadid's real name and they're super confused
Gigi Hadid is one of the biggest names in the celebrity world right now, but it turns out that that name... isn't actually real.
The 23-year-old model has shot to fame in the past five years by walking down the most esteemed catwalks in the world, starring in huge fashion campaigns and making her mark as one of the most influential people on social media, now with 42.2 million Instagram followers to her name.
So to find out that "Gigi Hadid" doesn't officially exist? That's pretty weird.
The American model was actually born Jelena Noura Hadid, with Gigi purely coming about as a nickname she adopted in school. Jelena Hadid certainly doesn't have the same ring to it that Gigi does, and you've got to wonder how she came up with it. Is it simply because it sounds cool? Or maybe it's because "Gi" sounds like the start of "Jelena"?
Well, she actually spoke about her name and why she prefers Gigi in an interview with Vogue three years ago. She explained that her mother, Dutch model and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Yolanda Hadid, had the same nickname when she was younger.
"My mom was called that as a kid by her mother when she was younger, but only around the house," Gigi said. "I was called that around the house when I was really young."
“In first or second grade, there was a girl named Helena and it got confusing with the teacher who had to call out our names, and so the teacher asked my mom, ‘If I needed to call Jelena a nickname, what would it be?’ And my mom was like, ‘I call her Gigi sometimes,’ and the name stuck.”
Even though this might not exactly be new news, people are still pretty shocked right now after finding out what the model's real name is after all these years. Even though Gigi changed her name from Jelena because "it got confusing", it seems that people get just as confused upon learning that Gigi Hadid isn't actually Gigi Hadid.
On that last point – it is lucky that she goes by the name Gigi, seeing as she got famous around the time when #Jelena was still a thing.
But Gigi isn't the only celebrity to go by a different name. Rihanna's real name is Robyn Fenty, with Rihanna actually being her middle name. Miley Cyrus was born Destiny Hope Cyrus, though she legally changed her name to Miley in 2009; apparently, it's because her family always called her "Smiley". Natalie Portman's birth name is Neta-Lee Hershlag, and she made it a little more conventional by turning Neta-Lee into Natalie, and taking her grandmother's maiden name of Portman.
See? It's not that unusual for a celebrity to start going by a name that's a little more catchy.
Oh, and one more thing. Bella Hadid isn't actually Bella Hadid either. Her real name is Isabella Khair Hadid. Not that far off, but still fun to know, right?