Gisele - the most beautiful girl in the world
As the world's highest-paid supermodel, she earned $42m last year. It seems we just can't get enough of
Published 04/09/2013 | 05:00
By Deirdre Reynolds
Most women would be happy to be told they look a million dollars – supermodel Gisele Bündchen looks 42,000,000 of them.
Brazilian bombshell Gisele (33) has just been named the highest-paid model on the planet by Forbes, raking in $42m (€31m) in the past year alone.
The mother of two's staggering pay day leaves even Kate Moss in the ha'penny place. Mossy earned a mere $5.7m in the same period.
It's the seventh year in a row that Bündchen – who shot to fame as a Victoria's Secret model and is currently the face of Chanel – has topped the list.
And it makes her even richer than her American Football star husband Tom Brady, who made just over $38m in the past year. But out-earning her hubby is just one of the reasons we love Gisele. Here are some of the others ...
* Her name
First Naomi, then Kate and now Gisele – when you're this famous, who needs a surname? Pronounced 'ji-zel', the world's top model has a moniker fit for a princess – she's named after the daughter of French King Charles III. But the exotic name – which comes from the German word for 'pledge' – is perhaps best known from the classic Romantic ballet Giselle. Let's face it, though, when your name rhymes with 'gazelle', you were practically born to be a supermodel.
* She's a devoted mum
Working mum Gisele and hubby Tom have two children, Benjamin (3) and Vivian (eight months). The 33-year-old is also a stepmum to Brady's son Jack (5) from a previous relationship and has said how she sees no distinction between the three. "I understand that [Jack] has a mom and I respect that, but to me it's not like because somebody else delivered him, that's not my child." Gisele herself has five sisters, including non-identical twin Patricia, who works as her public relations manager.
* Not to mention an 'earth mother'
Green goddess Gisele has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 2009, most recently backing its 'Sustainable Energy for All' initiative.
Leading by example, her own $20m LA pad is solar-powered, uses recycled rainwater and has a fruit and vegetable garden.
"I grew up in a small town and I had the opportunity to live surrounded by nature," explains Gisele. "The environment has always been my passion."
* Her love life's a bit complicated
Bündchen met quarter-back Brady on a blind date after splitting from Leonardo DiCaprio in 2005. But the new couple were left reeling when it emerged that Brady's ex, actress Bridget Moynahan, was expecting his baby (Jack). "[It] was a very challenging situation," admits Gisele. "In the beginning, you're living this romantic fantasy. And then, whoops – wake-up call!" All's well that ends well, though, when the 'Bründchens' wed in a small church ceremony in California in 2009.
* She got that body
Move over, Elle. Now it's Gisele who's nicknamed 'The Body' in fashion circles. The former Victoria Secret's Angel has a perfect 35-23-35 figure. Meanwhile, her legs take up a dizzying 40 inches of her 5'11" inch frame – that's 3 feet and 4 inches of legs alone. It's little wonder she featured on the cover of Vogue Brazil's Body Special issue earlier this year – eight weeks after giving birth, no less.
* But has to work at it
Super-fit Gisele maintains her $42m shape with a mix of kung fu, yoga and horse riding. She also works out with celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson in LA.
"Like I tell my five sisters, who don't work [at staying in shape] very hard at all, whatever you put in, you get out," reckons the model. "I did kung fu up until two weeks before Benjamin was born and yoga three days a week."
* She says what she thinks
Her controversial comments on motherhood have landed Gisele in hot water in recent years. First she argued there was no excuse for getting fat during pregnancy. "I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals."
Next she claimed giving birth to her son "didn't hurt in the slightest".
Then she declared there should be a "worldwide law" forcing new mothers to breastfeed. At least she's not afraid to express an opinion!
* And drops the F-bomb
She may be an Angel, but Gisele can swear like a trooper too. A video of the supermodel blasting her husband's New England Patriots' team-mates after they lost the Super Bowl went viral last year. In it, she fumes: "My husband cannot f****** throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time."
* She refuses to wear fur
Glamazon Gisele publicly renounced fur after being targeted by PETA in 2002. Animal-rights activists stormed the catwalk carrying 'Gisele: Fur Scum' placards when she became the face of fur brand BlackGlama. "It was a bad decision on my part, because I don't wear fur and I understand their cause," she later admitted. "I am the biggest animal lover in the world. I have four dogs and two horses and I have rescued animals all my life."
* And prefers flats to high heels
Only Gisele could get away with refusing to wear high heels on the runway. Back in 2011, Balanciaga creative director Nicolas Ghesquière revealed how he had designed flat shoes for the fashionista after she refused to wear his signature 4.5-inch stilettos. "Gisele was worried," he revealed, "she would not walk with my heels."
* Yep, she's pretty much perfect
Vogue editor Anna Wintour describes her as "a phenomenon", designer John Galliano thinks she's "a goddess" and Naomi Campbell reckons she "has it all". It seems just about everyone loves Gisele. Not even ex Leo has a bad word to say about her: "Gisele is a wonderful, wonderful human being," he said.
* But thankfully not completely perfect
Despite being regarded as one of the most beautiful women on the planet, Gisele insists she "hardly ever look[s] in the mirror". "When I started modelling, 12 years ago, people made comments that my nose was too much of this, too much of that," she recalls. "Now I'm comfortable with it: I'm no goddess, but I'm me. [As] women, our imperfections are what makes us unique and beautiful."