As I dragged myself out of bed this morning I felt pretty accomplished, mentally listing my tasks for the day (morning production meeting for client website updates, confirm details of upcoming photoshoot with agent, afternoon casting at Hearst Magazines, prepare for tech client meeting on Friday, send pitch deck to prospective investors, stop by UPS, buy shrimp for dinner...).
I pulled up my usual NYPost.com Page Six news and grabbed a double espresso… And there it was *smack*! A photo of Gisele, Supermodel Mom in hair and makeup being prepped for a photoshoot while breast feeding her daughter. Cue ego deflation.
In a world where Moms write satirical blogs like “People I Want To Punch In The Throat” there was surely exasperation at breakfast tables everywhere. Moms already have a lot on their plates running their household and putting elves on shelves. Do they really need to see an apparently-staged photo like this that makes them feel inferior, like they should be parenting in a ball gown?
I’d feel the same frustration if I hadn’t met Gisele. She’s the real deal.
It’s hard to feel hatred and jealousy when you know someone is successful as a result of hard work. When I modeled with Gisele in the Louis Vuitton campaign this scene was real. After her routine 5am meditation she attended to her newborn and reported to set for an 8am call time, newborn in tow. She was vibrant. Outgoing. The brightest light in the room.
There was no personal assistant. There was no entourage, just a quiet family nanny who only took baby Vivian Lake from her mama to allow the styling team space to prep their model for the day’s shoot. There were no special riders to her contract or diva attitudes. Gisele was as kind to the caterer as she was to Steven Meisel and Marc Jacobs. She was as grounded as any yogi mom I’ve ever met.
Careful not to exploit her children on social media, I’ve noticed that Gisele’s Instagram contains only carefully-obstructed photos of her family moments. That’s good parenting. While she’s working she’s making travel arrangements for her family, making sure they travel together and aren’t victims of success. She’s juggling kids, husband, supermodeldom and – did you know this? – the businesses she’s invested in. Yes, this #SuperModelMom also owns legit businesses like Unreal Candy. She took the time to make a healthy-alternative candy for the rest of us, including your children. Side note: the Peanut Butter Cups are ammmmazing, and I obsessed over them without knowing she created them.
The saying goes “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” Don’t hate success, either.
My point to this story: Women come in all shapes and abilities, and we juggle the responsibilities of the life path we’ve forged. It’s never easy, just different. Some of us have taken on more than others, and we need to celebrate those women that are boldly setting a successful SuperMom standard.
What do I see in this photo, really? I see a mom in her bathrobe, caring for her child while juggling her job. Just like everyone else.