« Back to articlePrint this article

How supermodel Gisele Bundchen battled anxiety

Last updated on: December 18, 2018 12:03 IST

Harper's Bazaar's cover girl for January/February 2019, reveals what it takes to be a model.

Photograph: Courtesy Harper's Bazaar/Instagram

Defining 'the new sexy', model Gisele Bundchen graces the cover of Australia's Harper's Bazaar in a cleavage-plunging lace dress.

One of the top-earning models in the world, at 38, age is just a number for this Brazilian model.  

'For 23 years I was a student in the school of fashion, and one of the first things I discovered was how shallow it could be. A lot of the time being a model made me feel torn and guilty,' divulges the supermodel in a candid interview with the mag. 'Modelling was never my passion or my identity. It was a work opportunity that appeared when I was very young, and I took it.'

While she serves as an inspiration for aspiring models across the world, Gisele has revealed the anxiety that came with modeling in an interview with the mag. 

'I was literally killing myself,' she says. 'I was poisoning my body from the moment I woke up in the morning to the moment I crashed at night. I was also creating a ripe environment for developing an anxiety problem.' 

'When you're 19 years old, maybe you can get away with working 350 days a year, but by the time you're 23 and have been running on overdrive for years, well, your body, mind and soul begin breaking down. I was trying my best to cope with the realities of my life.'

She adds: 'So many young female models seemed to be living in a hell that, as far as I could tell, they were unconsciously helping to create.

'Girls my own age, out of control at clubs, taking drugs, heading into dark places.

'I could have easily been one of them: another model taking two-free-drink chits and the ecstasy tablet from the guy standing outside the nightclub. But that was never me.

'As I said, something or someone always protected me.

'It might have been the voice of my mum, who, before I left home, told me never, ever to accept anything, especially drinks, from strangers.'

Gisele, who is a huge fan of yoga, has some advice for young models. 

'Get quiet, find your inner voice, and listen to it as carefully as possible.

'Avoid taking things personally. People will say things to you -- and about you -- but try not to let their words affect you. Other people's words have almost nothing to do with you.'

Rediff Get Ahead