Gisele Bündchen might have just celebrated 20 years in the modeling industry, but the Brazilian beauty is opening up about why her milestone career almost didn't happen. In a revealing interview with The New York Times, Gisele said designers, photographers, and casting agents would often ask her to "fix" her nose as she was getting started in the business. Angela Missoni confirmed Gisele's statement, saying her first campaign with Missoni featured her hair in front of her face because photographer Mario Testino "was worried about her nose."
Though that might have been enough for some to leave the industry, Gisele said bullying was something she expected: "Before I got into the business, I was used to being bullied because I was always tall and skinny and stuck out. I got really red all the time from playing volleyball, red like a pepper. So I thought bullying was just the way life is." But Gisele wasn't fazed by anyone's comments, determined to make it into the fashion industry without having to change a thing about herself. Keep reading for more quotes from Gisele on her success and how she stayed confident through her carreer.
- On body image in the fashion industry: "In the beginning, you know, everyone told me, 'Your eyes are too small, the nose is too big, you can never be on a magazine cover, but, you know what? The big nose is coming with a big personality."
- On the secret to her career: "I always knew that, even if I was not the most beautiful girl, I'd be the most energetic and hard-working. If you want to know the truth, that's the reason for my success."
- On her professionalism: "I'm a twin, I'm a Cancer, I'm always taking care of other people. I've always been the fixer in the family, the responsible one. I've always been a hard worker, never late for a job in my life. Really, ask anyone."
- On growing up in Brazil: "When I was a kid, I never even thought about fashion. I had one pair of jeans."
- On how she was discovered: "This guy came up to me and said: 'Do you want to be a model? Come with me to the agency right now.' We were supposed to go to Playcenter that day. The guy said, 'Oh, I promise you when you come to the agency in São Paulo, I'll take you to the Playcenter there' And you know what? He never took me there!"
- On sticking it out through the hard times: "This opportunity was given to me when I left home at 14 and I was not going to come back empty-handed," Bündchen said. "What else can a 14-year-old do to make money? I was determined to make it work."
- On fame: "To me, the idea of being famous is irritating. The attention is strange. Everyone has an opinion."