The Shady Side Of Gisele Bundchen

As the saying goes, you can't have it all, unless, perhaps, you're Gisele Caroline Bundchen. The Brazilian model's unlikely discovery occurred in a São Paulo McDonalds when she was just thirteen. After moving to New York to pursue her career, Bundchen booked runway shows, print ads, magazine covers, and a contract with Victoria's Secret. Nicknamed "The Body," Bundchen's healthy and tanned physique heralded a new "it" look in the '90s modeling world, replacing the heroin chic standard. Per Biography, "By 2004, Bundchen had become the highest-paid model in the world."

After a long-term romance with Leonardo DiCaprio, Bundchen moved on with all-star quarterback Tom Brady. The couple married in 2009 and had two children, Benjamin and Vivian. While raising her family, Bundchen continued to model, acted in a few movies, wrote a bestseller, and began various philanthropic endeavors. The goodwill ambassador has donated millions of dollars to charities and raised awareness for "environmental causes, including clean water initiatives, environmental sustainability, and the preservation of South American rainforests, as well as cancer research and treatment," per Vogue.

Sure, Gisele Bundchen sounds like a benevolent goddess with the perfect life, but alas, she too is human (okay, a ridiculously gorgeous human). Over the years Bundchen has made mistakes just like the rest of us, but fortunately our mistakes don't make the news or incur the wrath of millions of moms. Keep reading, because Nicki Swift is about to disclose the shady side of Gisele Bundchen.

Was Gisele Bundchen disrespectful to Bridget Moynahan?

Gisele Bundchen was on cloud nine after meeting and falling for football's golden boy in 2006. But reality hit hard when Tom Brady's ex-girlfriend, actor Bridget Moynahan, revealed that she was pregnant with the quarterback's child (who was conceived right before the pair broke up). Vanity Fair reported in 2009 that Bundchen pondered whether "she should encourage Brady to reunite" with Moynahan, however, she told the outlet she decided, "When people break up, it's for a reason." Ouch. Bundchen's seemingly callous quote came one year after Moynahan told Harper's Bazaar that she was "heartbroken" after her split with Brady.

The supermodel then discussed Brady and Moynahan's baby, Jack, saying that while she "respect[s]" his biological mom, she "love[s] him the same way as if he were [hers]." She continued, "I already feel like he's my son, from the first day." Vanity Fair also noted that despite a shared custody arrangement, Bundchen and Moynahan hadn't met one another yet (something tells us that the first meeting was... tense).

While Bundchen likely thought her comments were simply those of a supportive stepmom, criticism came swiftly as many people believed she crossed a line. Public sympathy lay with single mom Moynahan, and Bundchen's intimate interview gave off a "rubbing salt in the wound" vibe. Moynahan stayed silent, but anonymous insiders confirmed to media outlets that the star was not pleased. Moynahan's friend told Page Six that Bundchen was being "disrespectful" and using Jack for attention and publicity.

Referring to pregnant women as 'garbage disposals' is never a good look

For many women, complications during pregnancy and childbirth can make the experience painful and stressful. Other lucky souls seem to breeze through both like it's a beginners yoga class. Of course, Gisele Bundchen was the latter. In 2010, the former Victoria's Secret model told Vogue, "I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals. I was mindful about what I ate." Take a guess how that went over? Mommyish called the commentary "rude," "inappropriate," and "hurtful." 

Bundchen's other quotes about her journey to motherhood may not be as shady, but they oozed a kind of smug superiority that felt off-putting to many non-celebrity moms. The model told the Boston Globe (per ABC News) that she refused to use any type of artificial pain management and instead relied on yoga and meditation. Bundchen told the Brazilian TV show Fantastico (via People) that the experience "wasn't painful, not even a little bit."

Not only did childbirth not hurt for the genetically gifted bombshell, but she revealed on Fantastico that her recovery was lightning quick: "The second day, I was walking, I was washing dishes, I was making pancakes in the kitchen." While not ill-intentioned, Bundchen's comments about pregnancy and giving birth launched thousands of eye rolls. One writer opined for Social Moms, "She almost seems to be on a mission to show the world how unrealistically perfect she is at everything." 

Gisele Bundchen took 'breast is best' too far

After the blowback from her harsh garbage disposal comparison, one would assume Gisele Bundchen would be more careful with her parenting advice. One would be wrong. Speaking with Harper's Bazaar (via the Daily Mail), The Devil Wears Prada actor dove headfirst into a contentious online discourse: "Some people here think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think, 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child, when they are so little?'" And Bundchen wasn't done: "There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."

The reaction was a resounding "Nooope!" Mothers, fathers, and doctors wrote articles and comments aimed at educating Bundchen as to why her statement was both ignorant and insensitive. But perhaps one mom summed it up best in an open letter to the model, asking, "Did you ever stop to think that not all people might be as fortunate as you, Gisele? There are a whole myriad of reasons why women might not breastfeed, many of them completely out of their control."

The breastfeeding-as-law comment caused such an uproar that Bundchen quickly backtracked on her blog (via TIME), writing, "It's unfortunate that in an interview sometimes things can seem so black and white . . . I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge." But the damage was done, and Bundchen's newest controversial comment only solidified her elitist image.

Is Gisele Bundchen a sore loser?

Yes, Tom Brady does lose. In 2012, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. After the game, Bundchen attempted to smile her way through a crowd as she exited, but unfortunately, some Giants fans taunted the model about her husband's loss.

The heckling eventually got to Bundchen and she snapped, "You need to catch the ball when you're supposed to catch the ball. My husband cannot f***ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times." While Bundchen had every right to defend her husband, critics accused her of throwing Brady's teammates under the bus. Sources even told TMZ that some fellow Patriots felt "disappointed" and "betrayed" by the model's comments. 

Six years later, after the Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, USA Today reported that Bundchen comforted her crying children by saying, "They haven't won in a million years . . . Daddy won five times . . . You have to let someone else win sometimes.” Once again, Bundchen found herself on the defensive for her choice of words, as critics chastised her for telling her children that the Patriots "let' the Eagles win. "Just to be clear. No one 'let' anyone win," she tweeted to clarify, adding, "People win because of their own merit. Tired of people twisting my words to create drama that doesn't exist!"

Gisele Bundchen's breastfeeding controversy - Round 2

In 2013, Gisele Bundchen posted a picture on Instagram of herself wearing a white robe while breastfeeding her daughter. Eyes closed, she wore a hint of a smile while one woman gave the model a manicure, one man curled her hair, and another applied makeup. Bundchen captioned the photo, "What would I do without this beauty squad after the 15 hours flying and only 3 hours of sleep #multitasking #gettingready." Somehow, we doubt people felt sorry for the supermodel's lack of sleep due to her long flight (which most certainly wasn't in coach).

USA Today reported that some fans praised Bundchen for "normalizing breastfeeding" and serving as "a great example of a working girl and mother." Others saw the photo as another instance of Bundchen flaunting a luxurious and privileged lifestyle that most can only dream about. Non-rich-and-famous moms also side-eyed her use of the "multitasking" hashtag (which has since been removed from the caption) and posted responses including, "My multitasking usually includes dressing myself and two kids, making two breakfasts and lunches, cleaning up dropped clothes and dishes, brushing out hair ... Can we trade !?!" (via Today). 

The picture also generated plenty of parodies, even from other celebrities. Shameless actress Emmy Rossum poked fun at Bundchen's post by recreating the pic, except she used a baby doll for the since-deleted fake breastfeeding/glam session. Rossum later quipped on Chelsea Lately (via the Daily Mail), "Even the baby is doing all the work!"

Did Gisele Bundchen endanger her newborn?

Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady vacationed in Costa Rica in 2013. Paparazzi snapped the pair riding a quad together along a sandy beach, and the photo shows the supermodel giving the photogs a thumbs up. Except things were definitely not A-OK, as Bundchen was wearing three-month-old Vivian in a baby carrier at the time. People pointed out the hypocrisy of Bundchen wanting mandatory breastfeeding laws but being okay with her newborn riding on what the Daily Mail described as a "notoriously dangerous" vehicle. 

Critics called out Bundchen again in 2014 when she did the exact same thing — except this time the model was driving with one hand while the other supported Vivian in an askew sling. After the intense backlash, Bundchen's rep issues a statement to ABC News: "Gisele was on a private beach driving very, very slowly."

While Bundchen and Brady felt comfortable with the risk, several experts who spoke with the Daily Mail about the first set of photos expressed concern over their choice not to wear helmets. The outlet also pointed out the obvious: "the impact of a crash could be devastating for a baby." 

The model wore a burqa to get plastic surgery

Gisele Bundchen and her sister visited a plastic surgery clinic in Paris in 2015. While that event alone may have garnered a few headlines, it was Bundchen's disguise that got everyone talking. Page Six published pictures of the model wearing a long, black, face-covering burqa and open-toed sandals. Photographers were able to identify the mystery woman as Bundchen after she exited the car of her personal "longtime chauffeur."

Some French citizens and Muslims were incredibly offended by Bundchen's poorly thought-out disguise. One person claimed on the site Public (via Page Six), "In the street it is illegal to wear the burqa! It therefore violated French law." A member of the Islamic community told Page Six that Bunchen's stunt was "disrespectful to Islam" and added, "This is a religious garment. It's not so you can hide when you're going for a doctor's appointment." 

The burqa stunt was undoubtedly a shady move for religious and cultural reasons. And yet, Bundchen's elaborate plan to maintain secrecy in order to obtain plastic surgery also annoyed the public for a different reason. Vanity Fair pondered why the story made such huge headlines and mused, "There could be an angle to this that's expressing frustration with an internationally recognized symbol of beauty who is dishonest about how she maintains that beauty — because it sets an impossible standard for others." Bundchen eventually admitted to going under the knife in her 2018 memoir, but conveniently left out the burqa scandal. 

Gisele Bundchen's accidental concussion confession

The NFL has cracked down on players returning to the field too quickly after sustaining concussions and maintains a strict concussion protocol in an attempt to avoid catastrophic health consequences. So the public was surprised and confused when Gisele Bunchen announced to CBS News in 2017, "[Tom] has concussions pretty much every— I mean, we don't talk about [it]." Brady wouldn't initially confirm his wife's statement (he later did in 2020), and the NFL released its own statement, which read, in part, "There are no records that indicate that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms."

Fans and members of the media assumed that perhaps Brady and the Patriots didn't follow protocol so that he could continue to play, thereby violating NFL rules in addition to risking Brady's well-being. That in itself would have been shady, but after a little bit of digging, it appears that Bundchen's seemingly innocent concussion slip may have had ulterior motives.

In 2013 Brady and Alex Guerro, his trainer/health guru, founded the first TB12 Center together, and TB12 later became a fitness and wellness lifestyle brand (cha ching!). Couch Guy Sports suggested Bundchen's concussion confession was part of a "long con" to generate interest in the brand by boosting Brady's image as a superior specimen of health and fitness (who could bounce back quickly after a concussion). Other commentators speculated that Bundchen revealed Brady's secret concussions to pressure her husband to retire.

Bundchen compares medication to 'instant gratification'

Bundchen's 2018 memoir, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, revealed that the model suffered from severe anxiety in her twenties. Sadly, her panic attacks became so bad that she briefly considered taking her own life. Bundchen wrote that rather than taking Xanax, she used meditation, yoga, and diet to overcome her anxiety (via

The supermodel spoke with The Guardian about her decision not to take medication, saying, "That's the problem with today's society, people want instant gratification . . . for me to cure my panic attacks, it took months. I could have taken a pill, but I decided no. I'm going to wake up every morning and I'm going to meditate and do breath work . . . Everything starts with discipline."

The quote was widely criticized and even the writer of article noted, "But not everyone has access to the financial and physical support she [Bundchen] has." A writer for The Independent railed, "Bundchen's comments imply that mental health recovery is a matter of willpower — when in reality, many of us need medication." Others posted angry messages on social media, slamming Bundchen for insinuating that people who take medication for their depression or anxiety were taking the easy way out.

Did Gisele Bundchen diss younger models?

Despite lessons learned from past public missteps, Gisele Bundchen managed to make waves yet again in a 2018 Vogue interview. The fashion icon told the magazine that she wasn't really into social media and "her younger sister created an Instagram account for her." Bundchen declared, "If it was me, it would only be pictures of sunsets. It's not my generation — I have to be honest about that. I'm older, wiser. If I had to promote myself in the way girls modeling now have to do, forget it. I wouldn't do it."

Some readers interpreted the comment as a passive aggressive dig at younger models. And once again, Bundchen's choice of words was viewed as pretentious and even hypocritical. Her own Instagram at the time contained numerous photos of the model posing for the camera and frolicking in a bikini on the beach — not exactly the Instagram page of someone who claimed an aversion to social media promotions. 

After the criticism, Bundchen apologized on — wait for it — social media. "I'm sorry that my words in my most recent Vogue article were misunderstood," she tweeted, adding, "My intention was simply to express that I come from an older generation and am not technologically savvy. I admire the younger generation and their skill to manage all the added demand of social media. I certainly never feel that I am wiser than anyone, and I believe that we are all learning."