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Gisele Bündchen: a model life?

by Ace Damon
Gisele Bündchen: a model life?

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In the large exhibition space of a Shanghai art museum, molecular bubbles were displayed on giant screens to demonstrate the scientific element of a very long and very reverent skin care dome held by Dior. The celebrity element is Gisele Bündchen, the face of a new range of creams and serums, coming soon to help quantify how 30 years of advanced floral science and stem cell technology can help you look your best. Being born looking like one of the most successful models of the century can also help, but it doesn't matter.

"Health is becoming the new wealth," announces Edouard Mauvais-Jarvis, Dior's director of scientific communications, to a room of about 150 delegates. Soft electronic music pulsates in a space with a Kubrick-meet-Instagram aesthetic: clinically all white, all bright, accented by pillars of pink peonies. Chic French PRs circle beauty journalists, editors, and scientists, while weird Asian influencers, as weird influencers everywhere, take distant but funny selfies.

Bündchen – or Gisele, as she is known mononymously – enters the stage after being presented through video montages of her career and Dior's new beauty campaign. There are persistent, soft-focus photos of her sitting with her eyes closed on a mountain or looking melancholy on the beach with high ropes. The emphasis is on the model's credentials as environmentalist, activist, mother, and model of physical perfection. Dressed in flared blue jeans, a white shirt tucked into Christian Dior's belt, beneath a myrtle green blazer with black kitty heels, her trademark bouncing wavy as she sits.

"I strongly believe your body is a temple," she says. Her voice is a deliciously Brazilian accented bark. She was put on stage conversation with Chinese actress Li Bingbing and a local TV presenter to talk about personal welfare and the planet. “What are we eating? What are our thoughts?” Asks Gisele to the audience. “Because when you feel better, you look better. And if we hurt nature, we're hurting ourselves.”

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Beauty of the ball: Gisele at the Met Met Gala Celebrating Camp 2019, New York. Photography: Dipasupil Day / FilmMagic

The presenter blinks and nods his head before unanimously suggesting that "If the environment is clean and prettier, are we clean and prettier?" Li looks fantastically bored. It's up to Gisele to carry the weight of the event, which she does with heightened professionalism: enthusiastic, talkative, smiling all the time. She talks about her environmental activism, the need for inner beauty and peace as her main goal, and why nature is a "one word philosophy" that has allowed her to heal her wounds. The presenter, apparently impressed, closes her eyes and nods.

Gisele, pronounced Gi-zell-ee by her family, was 13 when she won her first model competition in Sao Paulo. She and her five sisters, including her twin Patricia, grew up in a middle-class house in a small town in southern Brazil. She writes at length in her 2018 New York Times bestseller, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, about being bullied for looking too thin at school, being a tomboy. The book is a hotchpotch of notes, a diary-slash-scrapbook of her life and how she apparently got there. She writes about being called "Olly" (as in Olive, Popeye's skinny mistress) and wearing "two pairs of pants to make my legs look thicker."

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But when Gisele arrived in New York at age 18 and made her runway debut for Alexander McQueen, she had already been renamed him "the Body" and "the breasts of Brazil" by Dolce & Gabbana. The following year, in 1999, it became a sensation. Editors and designers stated that the teenager, with her 36-24-35 bust-waist-hip ratio, marked the return of the curve; she rang the sign of death from the wavering angles of the chic heroine. Over the years, it has become the highest paid model in the world and now has over 1,200 magazine covers.

"All that mattered back then was being like this," she says as we sit together. “Like, I wanted to belong, I wanted people to like me and that was important to me so I tried to say yes to everyone. I wanted to please everyone. God forbid I let anyone down. And hey, that's why I have panic attacks. "

Take me to the game: Gisele with her husband Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, winner of Super Bowl 51, on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Take me to the game: Gisele with her husband Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, winner of Super Bowl 51, on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Photography: Kevin C Cox / Getty Images

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Gisele was at the height of her modeling career when she gravely says she "hit rock bottom." It was 2004. She was 24 years old. He worked for all the top fashion designers, became the $ 25 million face of Victoria & # 39; s Secret and earned his 76th Vogue cover. She and Leonardo DiCaprio had been named one of the most beautiful couples in the world by People magazine, and their relationship was an example of a tabloid. However, it was her lifestyle, she says, that made her spin.

“I was eating steak and chips every night. I was drinking a bottle of wine, smoking cigarettes and having a mocha cappuccino for breakfast. That was not so good. For many, this may qualify as an ordinary Friday, but as a world famous model, Gisele developed severe anxiety. "It was ups and downs, not drugs, but I couldn't sleep because I was drinking so much coffee during the day."

In her book, she wrote that for a brief second, feeling trapped, she looked at the balcony of her apartment and considered it a dark sensation. She lifts both hands off her lap now and talks at full speed. “When I had a panic attack, I thought I was going to die. I was scared. I could not breathe. And what I realized was that I am creating this for myself: we are creating the lives we are living with our actions and we have a choice. I chose to go into my routine because it was a tool that I found to cure myself. "

Golden Girl: Gisele Modeling Victoria's Secret in 2000.

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Golden Girl: Gisele modeling Victoria & # 39; s Secret in 2000. Photo: Getty Images

The episode marked a pivot for a younger and even more virtuous life. Gisele has taken up yoga, meditation, quiet retreats, cut sugar, alcohol, caffeine, carbohydrates – every health kick that has become so popular that it is unremarkable. But before Instagram, before Goop, before vloggers, and a $ 4.2 billion global wellness industry, there were celebrity gurus and fad diets. There were great health tips from famous and beautiful people and from the army of nutritionists, trainers, doctors, and dermatologists who kept them. In this sense, Gisele was one of the first to adopt.

How does she feel seeing the well-being and all that has lived transforming pop culture? She screams. “I have five sisters and if I find a new recipe or something I like, I share it with the group. That's why I wrote the book. The main point is more awareness, the more people learn things like yoga, the more positive it is. The more people stay awake and aware of their own decisions, then you don't have a lot of people, half asleep, you know? "

All but one of her sisters, who is a federal judge, are working (in many ways, not entirely clear) for the hundreds of millions of dollars wellness mark that Gisele has built around herself over the past two decades. Hers is a hip, sun-kissed, hippie organic aesthetic invented as a lifestyle catalog: all sunset yoga poses and cozy sweaters and leggings with mantras inspired for a simple, hassle-free ecological life.

Now every morning, Gisele wakes up to the sound of ocean waves through the telephone's speaker and begins a meticulous routine. Stretching and meditation come first, followed by oil in the mouth for several minutes "to cleanse all gums and detoxify teeth and gums." Then a workout listening to "a YouTube video in ancient Egypt or Greece, perhaps," followed by drinking lemon and water, preparing healthy breakfasts and lunches for the kids, and having a green juice. School runs and a bath is completed before she begins her work in her garden office, the Sanctuary.

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Gisele swears she doesn't find the diet difficult: most meals are vegetable based; Snacks like roasted pumpkin seeds are considered a treat. “I do it because it makes me feel better. It makes me happier in my life. I make these choices because it gives me something back. And I'm glad more people have access to it, because the more people know, the more they will make them happier. And if you have a happier world, the better it will be. "

Brown Study: Yumi Lee's Makeup Using Dior Capture Totale Cell Energy; David von Cannon's hair; Katie Mossman style; Deborah Lippmann's nails.

"I really don't care what anyone thinks. I worry about living my truth." Photo: Nino Muñoz / Parfums Christian Dior

Gisele's logic is as sunny and indefatigable as her disposition. Many people may strive to live like her, I say, but often discipline paves the way for more pressing priorities. "They just have to make the decision to work on it," she says sincerely. “That's the problem with today's society, people want instant gratification where you know:“ I want to do something and (when) I want to look like that. ” for me to cure my panic attacks, it took months. I could have taken a pill, but I decided not. I will wake up every morning and I will meditate and do the breathing work. It took months. Which is fair to some extent. But not everyone has access to the financial and physical support she has. "It all starts with discipline," she says.

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If Gisele's lifestyle is now the distorted embodiment of aspiration, it is one she has carefully selected. She split from DiCaprio in 2005 after it became clear that he was not on the same journey, so to speak. In 2009, she married NFL star Tom Brady after three years of dating. They have a 10 year old son and an eight year old daughter together, along with Brady's 12 year old daughter …

. (tagsToTranslate) Fashion (t) Models (t) Life and style

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