Gisele Bundchen’s first experience of modelling was a course her mother sent her on to correct her terrible posture.
The Brazilian supermodel opened up about her early years as part of the Wall Street Journal’s weekly House Call feature, in which she reflected on her childhood and current domestic life. Though now considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, Gisele is adamant that she never prioritised her looks as a youngster and was more interested in playing sports. But at 5 ft 9 by the time she reached her teens, she was a foot taller than her peers and was bullied as a result.
“When I was 13, my mother worried about my posture. I was being teased at school about my height, so I was hunching over,” the 38-year-old recalled. “My mum wanted me to be confident. She enrolled me, Pati and Gabi (her sisters) in a local modelling course. At the end of the course in 1994, the 50 girls in the class, along with five mothers including my mum, took a long bus trip to visit Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It was a reward.”
It was in Sao Paulo that Gisele was discovered by Elite Model Management and persuaded to take part in her first modelling competition.
Having enjoyed an immensely successful fashion career, the Brazilian star has since taken a step back from modelling and now prioritises spending time with her family – sports star husband Tom Brady, nine-year-old son Benjamin and six-year-old daughter Vivian, as well as her 11-year-old stepson John whom Tom shares with his ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan.
“I’m still my mother’s child,” Gisele insisted. “Even though we have help at home, my children have chores. I’m teaching them that things don’t just happen. They have to make their beds and fold their clothes. I tell them, ‘Clothes don’t have legs.'”
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