Sunday, 2 October 2016

Gisele Bündchen (SEI): Personality Type Analysis

Gisele Caroline Bündchen is a now semi-retired Brazilian fashion model - a 'supermodel' -  and occasional actress and singer, now also active as a goodwill ambassador for the UN. Her career started at 14 when she was spotted at a shopping mall in São Paulo, having more or less continually progressed afterwards, her big break coming in 2000 when she got a US$ 25 million contract with Victoria's Secret. She now resides in Boston with her husband, football player Tom Brady, and their two children.

For analysing Gisele's type, the best information available is in the form of interviews, written or in video, and occasional remarks by those who know her, besides what is known of her preferred lifestyle choices. Although there is a considerable number of interviews with her in English, I have found that in most of them she gives pretty much the same answers to the same questions, never going very deep.
 I have however noticed that in the interviews she gives to the Brazilian media, in Portuguese, she seems far more open and willing to reveal more about herself. A very useful exception is a recent 55 min interview with Charlie Rose (EIE), which goes deeper than the other interviews in English I have found. In the Brazilian interviews she was more or less allowed to take the conversation where she wanted, with just a few questions by the interviewers; by contrast, Charlie Rose tended to keep the interview on track as per his agenda, with an inclination to 'help' her sometimes by completing her answers, which she tended to say "yeah" to and seldom contradict. This sometimes revealed more about Charlie Rose's type than hers, but anyway I think useful information for a Socionics analysis can be extracted from his interview as well as from the Brazilian media's.

Obviously, all the interviews focused on her career as a model, and why she decided to stop when she did, etc. She very often came to the subject of knowing her body, "listening" to her body - she said that her body was "telling" her that it was time to stop. She consistently shows extreme self-confidence in evaluating the sensations and the state of her body, not only regarding her work but also her pregnancy: in one of the interviews in Portuguese, she happily went into detailed descriptions of her child's delivery; the progress of her dilation while still walking, the circumstances of her water breaking, and the like. Although not getting into that kind of detail with Charlie Rose, she said that she herself insisted in having her first child in her bath at home, and persuaded her husband Tom Brady that that was safe by showing him videos of such deliveries, until he said something like, "do whatever you want, just don't make me watch another video of a woman giving birth". This general theme, of being confident in anything related to her body and its sensations, is one she comes back to very often in her interviews, spontaneously, confidently. This already suggests that S is a strong function, or at least certainly not a weak one, making S4, S5, and S3 very unlikely, with S6 just slightly more likely as far as that goes. 

One of the Brazilian interviewers noted that, in early pictures taken when she was socialising, she was very often smoking. Gisele explained that early in her career she had to share rooms with other young models, for whom drugs were "cool". She was never into drugs, she said, but in order not to seem "too uncool" and fit in a bit, she decided to "at least, smoke", even while knowing that it was not good for her; when she felt more socially secure, she said, she quit smoking, explaining, again, that she could feel the effects of smoking in her body. This again reinforces her strong S, which also seems to be in a Valued function, as well as at least a good awareness of E. In the Charlie Rose interview, there seemed to be some clashes between his apparent F valuing and her S valuing. He kept describing her as "competitive", which she rejected; when he made the point that both Tom Brady and herself were "competitive", she easily brushed that aside, saying that maybe he was a bit more competitive than she was due to his profession, she saw herself as being a "collaborative" person. She further added - also apparently to Rose's scepticism - that the chief quality she saw in Brady was that he was "kind and gentle" rather than anything else. The latter may be a contrived answer; nevertheless, I think the above evidence points strongly to a strong S type whose F is probably subdued rather than weak.

When explaining what she saw the reason for her success, she preferred to minimise the effect of her looks (which I will not consider as of Socionics importance) and focus on luck, but also on her "personality", as a friendly and cooperative person who above all "never complained". I would say that that points to a person confident in Ethics rather than Logic, which was also visible in the points made above. In all the interviews, without exception, her demeanour seems spontaneously friendly and happy, irradiating a positive emotional atmosphere, except when briefly coming to tears during the Charlie Rose interview when the death of her dog was mentioned. Later on, Rose suggested that she made a distinction between Gisele the fashion model and Gisele the "goofball and tomboy" (her words), between the private person and the public image. This is a natural point for an E type to make, but she reacted to that with some seemingly spontaneous enthusiasm, which to me reinforces the point that she has E rather an R as quadra value, while being strong in both. At some point - quoting her father - she said that the single most important thing in life is the quality of your relationships, which she said she agreed with. At face value this suggests the opposite, i.e. an R ego person, but I suggest that in isolation it is not inconsistent with an E quadra type type with also strong R.

As per the above, in all of her interviews the focus of the conversation was on S, E and R subjects. In the Charlie Rose interview she mentioned - briefly - her interests in astrology and numerology, as well as having looked at Buddhism. In one of the Brazilian interviews, she went into much more detail, talking about the variations of astrology schools and the like. I suggest that this points to valued L but as something she's not very confident in; in fact her L is only barely visible (and P seems not visible at all). According to Wikipedia she once caused some controversy by stating that women should be forced by law to breast-feed their children for 6 months at least - a point she quickly backed off from. I think this also points to the strong and valued S, with hints of L and F. Her I is also barely visible, but she showed some focus on it not only by her seemingly variable (but also limited) search for mystic systems to explain reality, but also in her genuine excitement when reacting to Rose saying that she was in a point in her life full of uncertainties, with endless possibilities. It seems that I is something she responds to positively but does not easily do on her own. From a broad-brush perspective, Gisele is obviously a person who, left to her own choices, spends her time surrounded by her children and by nature, occasionally devoting herself to interesting activities that might pop up now and then. This again points to a person of S and I as quadra values, that is Alpha or Delta.

I think the combination of S1, E2, L6, I5, P4 and R8 fits well what we can see of Gisele Bündchen, making her a SEI. Possible alternatives such as ESE or EII don't really work as well because of the absence of visible P3 and F8 for the former, and the comfort with (while dismissing) F points for the latter.

Sources: the full Charlie Rose interview is in his website (on YouTube there are only bits. The longest, most useful Brazilian videos are this and this.

To learn more about SEI, click here

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

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