Gisele Bundchen became the heroine of a cover story in the February issue of Harper's Bazaar. The supermodel took part in a photo shoot and spoke in an interview about eating habits, children and self-esteem after a divorce.
On the cover, Gisele posed for fashion photographer Alberto Rodriguez in a Bottega Veneta top and skirt from the spring-summer 2024 collection; for the cover story, the model tried on looks from Ferragamo, Victoria Beckham, Dior, JW Anderson, Louis Vuitton, Loewe and other brands.
From 2002 to 2016, Bündchen was included in the Forbes list as the highest paid model in the world. Even after she moved to Boston, cut back on her work schedule, and married football player Tom Brady in 2009, with whom she had a son, Benjamin, and a daughter, Vivian, Gisele's demand never seemed to wane.
In the 2000s, when the aspiring model lived in New York and worked, according to her, 350 days a year, she lived on cigarettes, Frappuccinos, pizza and wine. It was a way to get me in the mood and then bring it down so I could sleep at night. Bundchen eventually began having panic attacks. She consulted an osteopathic doctor who advised her to give up alcohol, caffeine, sugar and gluten.
Gisele even tried going vegan out of her love for animals, but suffered from nutritional deficiencies. Today she eats a minimal amount of meat, which she chooses carefully. “I want to live as long as possible feeling as good as possible, but to achieve this, I have to make decisions today,” says Bundchen. “You could have all the money in the world.” If you don't have health, it can't be redeemed."
The model developed her eating habits in childhood, when she lived in Brazil in the company of her mother and five sisters. The family had a culture of not getting rid of leftovers, which goes against the American ethos of prioritizing convenience—even if it means half the food in supermarkets and refrigerators goes to waste. “If we had a barbecue on Sundays, then on Mondays all the remaining meat went to arroz carreteiro - rice with meat mixed with onions and tomatoes,” says Gisele.
"You are where you come from. Everything I learned as a child remains with me. This doesn't change. Largely thanks to this, I was safe because my value system was so strong,” says the model. “Today, being where I am and having access to everything that is available to me, I feel that simple things are best because I am constantly trying to return to them. In the end, these are the things that make me the happiest.”
Benjamin, 14, and Vivian, 11, had a very different upbringing than Bundchen. But now they are both about the same age as she was when she left home for a modeling career. Giselle wants to make sure they have the tools to navigate the world on their own. “The way you arrange your room, the way you organize and make your bed, is how you will live your whole life.”
In October 2022, Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady announced their divorce after 13 years of marriage. The couple's decision had no impact on the model's self-esteem, nor on the closer attention to her personal life, which she is already too familiar with at this stage. "I can't worry about what other people say about me, because what they say about me doesn't concern me. It’s up to them what they’re trying to project onto me,” she says. “If I depend on this, I will never be able to live in truth.”