Tom Ford to Gisele: Brutal or Brutally Honest?

Alexandra Owens, Allure magazine

Tom Ford has never shied away from speaking his mind-remember when he confessed that he spends most of his alone time in the buff? But the designer is getting a big, collective eye-roll across the internet for his latest comment: that Gisele Bündchen, who is all of 32, should get ready to be old and ugly. "This sounds negative, but when you're considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, it's very, very hard when that starts to slip away. It's hard to feel good about yourself when people react to you differently," he says in the fall issue of VMAN, where he interviews her husband, Tom Brady. "I know through some of my best friends who are really famous actresses-I'm not going to mention their names-who were at one point considered to be among the most beautiful women in the world at different periods of time, and how hard it is for them emotionally. So I hope Gisele is prepared for that, because it's so difficult."

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What I wonder is: exactly why are the likes of Fashionista and Jezebel so offended-is it because what Ford says is true? The words might be blunt, but he has a valid point. I recently watched the HBO documentary About Face: The Supermodels, Then and Now that follows aging models like Paulina Porizkova, Lisa Taylor, Jerry Hall, Carmen Dell'Orefice, and Beverly Johnson. And while all of them may have had different ways of dealing with aging-drugs, building a family support system, quitting the industry, plastic surgery-they all agree that the transition from a lithe, fawned-over 18-year-old to a pretty 40-something with significantly less attention and work was a very real struggle.

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Getting older, and preparing to handle that emotionally and professionally, is inevitably tough when the success of your career is based on youth and appearance. So I don't think Ford is the problem in this situation-he's merely acknowledging it.

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