Gisele Bundchen began modeling for Victoria’s Secret when she was only 19 years old. She was so iconic and tightly linked to the brand, that the Brazilian bombshell became known as one of their “OG models.”
All of that fame, work and travel took a toll on her, and in 2006 she left VS when her contract expired. There was also one other reason she decided to move on, that Cosmopolitan called “low-key crazy.”
Gisele explained that she left her decision to leave Victoria’s Secret up to fate, literally picking yes or no from crumpled pieces of paper in a cup. If she had picked the ye
She needed more
In her new book, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, Gisele finally disclosed that what she needed more of wasn’t time off, money, or fame, but more clothes! She became tired of walking around in a thong, lingerie, or skimpy bikinis.
Gisele told People that she was increasingly uncomfortable with being so scantily clad every shoot, and each time she walked the runway for VS.
For the first five years, I felt comfortable modeling in lingerie, but as time went on, I felt less and less at ease being photographed walking the runway wearing just a bikini or a thong. Give me a tail, a cape, wings — please, anything to cover me up a little!
Feeling no pain
At the height of her earning power and fame, she walked away from what is the dream job for many models. Her career certainly didn’t suffer for it, as she continued to have as much work as she wanted, both in print and on the runway.
It can be argued that Gisele possibly gave up what could have been her most lucrative contract opportunity by leaving VS, but she said she doesn’t regret the decision.
Change comes in stages
After leaving VS, Gisele never actually gave up modeling bikinis and lingerie, and she did wear a thong for some shoots again. The difference was that she felt more in control of what she wore and what jobs she would take, rather than it being mandated by a blanket contract.
Bundchen is still modeling at 38 years old, although she is spending more time raising her family and working more broadly in the entertainment field. She can be seen in a few small acting roles, making music, commercials, and she has invested a significant amount of time in her favorite charities.