Gigi Hadid has never wanted to be defined by her wealth or beauty.

The 23-year-old model has always felt the ''guilt of privilege'' because of her upbringing, but was always determined to work hard at school and sports so she could make her own money, rather than rely on handouts from her parents.

She said: ''I've always had the guilt of privilege. It started in high school, and I was determined not to be defined by it, or by being pretty. I was a great volleyball player and I had great grades. That's how I valued myself.

''It was always my parents' money, and I was always going to get a job and live independently. I've paid my own bills since I was 18. My first Louboutins came from my first pay cheque.''

And Gigi insists that her background doesn't mean she can't be a nice person.

She said: ''I think I can come from a privileged background and still be a hard worker and a nice person. I don't think I'm better than anyone else, and I hold myself to that. I try to work with integrity.''

The blonde beauty - who recently rekindled her romance with Zayn Malik - may appear to lead a glamorous and exciting lifestyle but she admitted she sometimes feels very lonely, but she uses those times to ''reflect'' and grow as a person.

She told The Times newspaper: ''Sometimes I'm around hundreds of people all day long. Then you go back to a hotel room and you're alone in a country that you don't know very well and in a time zone where you can't call the people closest to you.

''It's these times, when I feel alone, that I learn a lot about myself. It's an amazing way to reflect . . . you can grow a lot.''

When she's not working, Gigi likes to spend time on the farm where her mother, Yolanda Hadid, lives and finds the short periods of time out really help her feel refreshed.

She said: ''I always go back to work feeling better. It's about shutting off and not putting on hair and make-up, even if it's just for one day.''

The model also likes to spend time with her small group of close friends and feels ''blessed'' to have them in her life.

She said: ''I have three or four really close friends, including one I've had since high school, who are there in the dark times and I'm so blessed to have them. They remind me who I am and that I'm good enough.''