In news that doesn’t involve Gisele’s possible baby bump, the supermodel returned home to Brazil this week to do some good.
Mrs. Tom Brady is sponsoring a model search competition called Top CUFA (like “Top Model” but with a higher cause).
CUFA stands for Central Única das Favelas, or Central Union of Slums. The contest aims to “boost slum dweller’s self-esteem” by plucking beauties from underpriviledged neighborhoods in Brazil according to the AFP. Gisele and the organization met with 30 hopeful models in Rio this week to prep them for the competition.
How did Gisele bolster their self-esteem? By revealing her own rejection. She told the crowd that she was rejected by 42 agents before the 43rd finally accepted her. (Bet those 42 are kicking themselves right about now.)
Judges will ultimately select one model to represent each of Brazil’s 27 states and then crown one woman the Top CUFA. She will receive a year’s worth of free Pantene hair products, a year-long modeling contract and the crown Gisele won at her first Carnival.
Despite the contest’s goal of female empowerment and aid to the impoverished, Top CUFA could be controversial.
Racial tensions in Brazil run high, and the majority of Top CUFA’s contestants are of mixed race.
“Even if she is white, Bundchen’s being here is important because she is from Brazil where there is great racial diversity and she is renowned worldwide,” contestant Rafaella Lemes of Rocinha shantytown told the AFP.
Perhaps Gisele’s support for this initiative will help racially diverse models in Brazil gain more acceptance. What do you think?