At age 29, Gisele Bunchen had already worked for 14 years as a model before becoming a mom to newborn Benjamin Rein Brady. Now she’s gracing the cover of Vogue’s April Shape Issue (shot by Patrick Demarchelier), discussing with Vogue Contributing Editor Joan Juliet Buck what’s next in her life and career, in terms of motherhood, mentoring, meditation and modeling.
During the course of her pregnancy and in the aftermath of her home birth, Gisele stayed out of the spotlight.
“I felt like my pregnancy was a sacred moment for me,” she explained. “I stayed in Boston and I didn’t work apart from the contracts I have, and then I only let them use my face.”
And she admitted that she hasn’t left her home in Boston in the six weeks since she gave birth.
“Too cold,” she emphasized.
She also shared with the high fashion magazine insight about the naming of her son.
“I wanted him to be called River because I wanted something always flowing, immortal,” she expounded. “My husband [NFL star Tom Brady] said, ‘There’s no way we’re going to call him River.’ But my father’s name is Reinoldo, so it’s a homage to him. And it’s like water.”
An athlete her whole life, Gisele explained how she got back into fighting shape since giving birth; mostly, by not letting herself go in the first place. “I did kung fu up until two weeks before Benjamin was born, and yoga three days a week. I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals. I was mindful about what I ate, and I gained only 30 pounds.,” she revealed.
She also talked about her new organic beauty line, Sejaa (“to be” in Portuguese, with an extra “a” for exhalation), which she developed to alter the self-image of young women. Gisele explained that her efforts at mentoring young Latina and black women in Boston hadn’t always worked out the way she planned.
“I thought I was going to be able to save them, guide them. When I got there they were like, ‘Who are you?’ There were a lot of Latina and black girls,” she began. “In Brazil, everyone is a mixture, and no one thinks about it. In America, maybe you have more problems with that. It took me a week or two just to get them to sit down with me and talk. I had my yoga teacher come up from New York to teach them yoga. I wanted to share something, but I ended up realizing that you cannot save anybody. I forced it, and it didn’t quite go through.”
So how does Gisele stay grounded? Getting away for a month each winter with her husband to their home in Costa Rica helps. Along with plenty of yoga, and a penchant for the writings of Miguel Ruiz (“The Four Agreements”), she keeps her mind clear.
And she appeared to remain grateful and humble as well. As Vogue points out, “Not once in three hours does she mention that she has just given the Red Cross $1.5 million for Haiti.”