She's a modern woman, wife and mom, but Gabrielle Reece has a surprising take on the ideal relationship between a wife and her husband. Married for 17 years to surfing legend Laird Hamilton, the pro volleyball star and fitness expert, 43, advises women to be "submissive" with their men in her new book My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper.
"To truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and -- look out, here it comes -- submissive," writes the former model, who shares daughter Reece Viola, 9, and son Brody, 5, with Hamilton, 49.
Reece, who took off ten years from work to raise their kids, clarified that provocative argument speaking with Natalie Morales on TODAY Friday, April 12. "I think the idea of living with a partner is 'How can I make their life better?'" she reasoned. "So if I'm the woman and he's the man, then yes, that's the dynamic. I'm willing and I choose to serve my family and my husband because it creates a dynamic where he is then in fact acting more like a man and masculine and treating me the way I want to be treated."
But being "submissive" isn't a negative or antiquated thing, she argued. "I think because women have the ability to set the tone that the ultimate strength and showing real power, I believe, is creating that environment. I dont think it’s a sign of weakness. I think it’s a sign of strength."
After tying the knot with Hamilton in 1997, Reece and the iconic blond went through a rough patch -- filing for divorce four years after the wedding, but reconciling two years later.
"I feel like it's a blessing for us that we've gone through a bunch of different things in our relationship, which has allowed us to arrive here today," Hamilton said during a separate TODAY interview. "We’ve been brought here through what we've endured in our relationship and at the end that's only made us stronger."