Gisele Bündchen covers HARPER’s BAZAAR February 2024 ‘Joy’ issue photographed by Luis Alberto Rodriguez and styled by Carlos Nazario.
On the impetus behind Bündchen’s forthcoming cookbook, Nourish: Simple Recipes to Empower Your Body & Feed Your Soul, which includes recipes designed for everyone with fresh produce and pantry items that can be bought in bulk: “I can offer some things I’ve learned and that have helped me and my family,” she tells me. “I’m just a mom who has a very busy life, and I think a lot of women can relate to that.”
On prioritizing her health in part due to seeing her parents grapple with health issues as they’ve gotten older:
“I want to live the longest feeling the best that I can, but for me to achieve this, I have to make decisions today,” Bündchen says. “You can have all the money in the world. If you don’t have your health, it’s not possible to buy it back.”
On her meal-planning strategy, which was largely inspired by her own mother, and utilizes leftovers during the week:
“You are where you come from,” Bündchen explains. “All those things that I learned as a kid are things that are in me. It doesn’t change. In many ways, it’s also what kept me safe because my value system was so strong,” she says.
On what brings her joy today: “Today, being in the place where I am in my life and having access to all the different things I’ve had access to, I feel like the simple things are best because I keep trying to go back to those things. At the end of the day, those are the things that make me the happiest.”
On the importance of inner beauty: “I’ve been in a business where I’ve seen the most beautiful women,” she says. “Sometimes, they’re kind and they’re nice; now they’re more beautiful. And sometimes they’re just not, because their whole beauty goes away because of how they carry themselves and how they treat other people.”
On adding Jiujitsu to her workout regimen: “Here I think, ‘Oh, I’m going to just learn self-defense because I want to make sure my kids can protect themselves when they’re out in the world,’ but then I learned with the brothers the philosophy and the lifestyle, the whole value system, which was amazing,” she says. “It was almost everything I lived in my life, the way I believed in courage and honesty and all the things I found to be important in my value system and have been guiding me in my life. They were never organized, and now they have a container.”
On reuniting with old friends on shoots: Nowadays, Bündchen says, being on a shoot “feels like a vacation,” as she catches up with old friends. Because she didn’t go to high school herself, she likens jobs to reunions. “You get to see the people you’ve known for 20-something years and haven’t seen in 10. You’re like, ‘Oh my God, you have a daughter now?’
On providing her children with the tools to navigate the world on their own: “The way you make your room, the way you organize and make your bed is the way you’re going to do your life,’ ”she recalls telling them. “‘If you’re not learning here and now, then when and with who?’ Sometimes, I get pushback, especially because now they’re in two different homes and there are two different ways. But I feel like I owe it to my kids, because of what my mom taught me.”
On letting go of other people’s opinions of her: “I can’t really worry about what other people say about me because what they say about me is none of my business. It’s really their business that they’re trying to project onto me,” she says. “If I’m going to be affected by that, I’m never going to live my truth.”
[Photo Credit: Luis Alberto Rodriguez for Harper’s Bazaar Magazine]
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